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Совет национальной безопасности США
Совет национальной безопасности (англ. National Security Council, сокращённо СНБ) — консультативный орган при президенте США для решения наиболее важных вопросов национальной безопасности и внешней политики, и координации действий всех основных ведомств, связанных с указанными вопрос ...

Совет национальной безопасности (англ. National Security Council, сокращённо СНБ) — консультативный орган при президенте США для решения наиболее важных вопросов национальной безопасности и внешней политики, и координации действий всех основных ведомств, связанных с указанными вопросами.

Совет национальной безопасности был создан в 1947 году законом о национальной безопасности. Его созданию послужила убеждённость влиятельных американских политиков в том, что дипломатия Государственного департамента США больше не была способна сдерживать СССР при напряжённых отношениях между СССР и США[1]. Конечной целью его создания было обеспечение согласованности действий между военно-морскими силами, Корпусом морской пехоты, сухопутными войсками и военно-воздушными силами США.

2009 г.:

Заседание СНБ: президент Барак Обама, Госсекретарь Хиллари Клинтон, Министр обороны — Роберт Гейтс, Заместитель начальника ОКНШ — ген. Кэртрайт, директор разведки Деннис Блэр, советник президента Грег Крейг, директор ЦРУ Леон Панетта, заместитель начальника Совета внутренней безопасности Том Донилон, советник президента по национальной безопасности ген. Джеймс «Джим» Джонс и глава президентской администрации Рэм Эмануел

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22 февраля, 05:05

Sean Spicer Dodges Question About Anti-Muslim Hate Groups

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer dodged a question Tuesday about the rise in American anti-Muslim hate groups, many of which have close ties to high-level officials in the Trump administration, and instead opted to talk about terrorism committed by Muslims.  A report released last week from the Southern Poverty Law Center found that the number of anti-Muslim hate groups in the U.S. tripled in 2016. The SPLC argued the rise was due partly to the presidential campaign of Donald Trump, who routinely vilified, scapegoated and disparaged Muslims.  “Southern Poverty Law Center said that the number of anti-Muslim groups in the U.S. has tripled between 2015 and 2016, during the time of the campaign,” a reporter asked during Tuesday’s press conference. “Is this message within the administration ― anti-Semitism is not allowed, xenophobia is not allowed ― anti-Muslim sentiment within the administration, has the president been forceful about that particular issue?” Spicer then issued a largely non-sensical response, talking vaguely about “radical Islamic terrorism,” and not addressing the SPLC report whatsoever.  “I think that the president, in terms of his desire to combat radical Islamic terrorism, he understands that people who want to express a peaceful position have every right in our Constitution,” Spicer said. “But if you come here or want to express views that seek to do our country, or our people, harm, he is going fight it aggressively, whether it’s domestic acts that are going on here or attempts through people abroad to come into this country.” “So there is a big difference between preventing attacks and making sure that we keep this country safe, so there is no loss of life and allowing people to express themselves in accordance with our First Amendment. Those are two very, very different, different different things.” It was certainly an awkward connection for Spicer to field. The Trump administration, after all, is awash in people with deep ties to some of the country’s most extreme anti-Muslim groups.  In December, the founder of the SPLC-listed hate group Act for America bragged in a fundraising email of having a “direct line” to the White House.  Mike Pompeo, the congressman Trump tapped to head up the CIA, has deep ties to Act for America, regularly speaking at its events and once even sponsoring a legislative briefing on Capitol Hill for the group. In 2016, Pompeo accepted Act for America’s National Security Eagle Award. Michael Flynn, who last week resigned as Trump’s national security adviser, was on Act for America’s board of advisers.  Jeff Sessions, Trump’s recently confirmed attorney general, is closely affiliated with a SPLC-listed hate group called the David Horowitz Freedom Center. Sessions once accepted an award from the organization, and regularly speaks at its events.  Steve Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist and a member of the National Security Council, routinely praised anti-Muslim hate group leaders as experts on Islam during when they were guests on his Breitbart News radio show. He also promoted the paranoid conspiracy theories of Frank Gaffney, who heads the SPLC-listed hate group, the Center for Security Policy.   And White House counselor Kellyanne Conway conducted a deeply flawed poll for the Center for Security Policy, which Trump cited in his campaign proposal to ban Muslims from entering the U.S.  These anti-Muslim groups believe Islam is an inherently evil and violent political ideology, and that all Muslims are thus potential terrorists. They also believe in thoroughly debunked conspiracy theories alleging Muslims in America have organized a massive, subversive plot to destroy America from within, replacing the U.S. Constitution with a brutal interpretation of Sharia, or Islamic law.  During the press conference Tuesday, Spicer dodged another question about the Trump administration’s reported plan to focus the Department of Homeland Security’s Countering Violent Extremism program solely on Muslims, and not on white supremacists or other potential terrorists.  “There’s nothing to announce on that front,” Spicer said.  Last week, at a meeting in North Carolina of right-wing groups, including Act for America, a man openly talked about wanting to kill Muslims. The FBI told The Huffington Post it’s looking into the incident.  -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

22 февраля, 04:02

Rep. Marsha Blackburn Besieged By Boos At Tennessee Town Hall

A passionate group of constituents and protesters alike greeted Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) at a meeting in Fairview, Tenn., on Tuesday afternoon.  About 130 prescreened people filled Fairview City Hall to hear Blackburn’s remarks. The city’s website said the event was open only to residents (population 8,000) who had reserved seats. What began as a relatively sedate meeting at times escalated sharply as Blackburn fielded numerous questions, many about health care and the future of the Affordable Care Act. After a brief overview of her legislative agenda, during which she affirmed her desire to “phase out” the ACA, Blackburn opened the floor to questions from the public. The first question came from a constituent who said he was “concerned about oversight in Washington,” specifically the elevation of Steve Bannon, whom he identified as “a notorious white nationalist,” to the National Security Council. Blackburn initially deflected, saying only, “I don’t speak for the president,” then, after saying she had personally had no problems interacting with Bannon, added, “I am not aware that he’s taken anybody’s place on the NSC.” A chorus of incredulous boos followed. “It’s all over the national media,” the man asking the question replied. My thanks to the City of Fairview for having me today. As always, it's a pleasure to hear from you. pic.twitter.com/HBjVv9LT8Y— Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) February 21, 2017 Several audience members also shared critical opinions of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet appointees. A Franklin High School senior expressed concern about the abilities of newly confirmed Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. “I think Miss DeVos is going to be a fine secretary,” Blackburn said to loud boos from the crowd. “She’s going to do a fine job.” “We are not stupid,” someone in the crowd fired back. “Stop this.” Jeers also followed a similar question about the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt. “We’re all for clean air, clean water and want to have a healthy environment,” Blackburn told a woman who expressed concern that Pruitt would dismantle critical environmental safeguards. “Next question,” she said tersely, as someone countered, “You voted against that just this month!” Do you think it’s right to prioritize people based on their religion? Yes or no? Franklin High School student Another Franklin High student asked the representative to comment on Trump’s statement that he wants to prioritize refugees who are Christian. “Is it right to prioritize people based on their religion?” he asked, to applause from the crowd. Instead of answering the question directly, Blackburn launched into a discussion of refugees and the need for more vetting, prompting the student to ask again, pointedly: “Do you think it’s right to prioritize people based on their religion? Yes or no?” “I know that Christians have seen incredible persecution,” Blackburn replied, prompting another chorus of boos.  Nashville’s WSMV-TV estimated 150 people gathered outside the town hall to protest. Reporter Kevin Trager said that officers prepared for up to 1,000 protesters, bringing about a dozen squad cars to City Hall hours before the event. Heavy police presence outside Fairview City Hall ahead of @MarshaBlackburn town hall event at 3:30. @WSMV pic.twitter.com/2tN4lVWXq6— Kevin Trager (@KevinWSMV) February 21, 2017 Unlike many of her colleagues who were caught off-guard by the large, unwelcoming crowds at town halls in their home districts, Blackburn knew what to expect.  Staffers for the congresswoman sought to downplay the event earlier this week, with Fairview Mayor Patti Carroll at one point removing information about it from the city’s website. Carroll told CNN Monday that she sought to classify the town hall as more of a “community meeting” intended as a “low-key” gathering with other local elected officials. As of Tuesday afternoon, the online listing appeared to have been restored.  Across the country, representatives and senators have been skipping constituent meetings during their weeklong February recess. In Colorado, where Republican Sen. Cory Gardner has declined to schedule any public forums, protesters planned an “in absentia” town hall instead. “It’s his job to plan an in-person town hall, but since he has not, we will,” Katie Farnan, one of the organizers of the Denver event, told The Huffington Post in an emailed statement. “We have invited the Senator and sincerely hope he will come, but will hold the town hall with or without him.” It’s a somewhat hypocritical twist for Gardner. Last month, the senator dismissed the sharp uptick in phone calls to his office as coming from out-of-state “paid protesters” who were preventing the voices of his constituents from being heard. Given the opportunity, it seems many politicians ― Gardner included ― don’t want to hear from their constituents in person, either. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

22 февраля, 01:58

The Insurgent in the White House

In picking H.R. McMaster as his national security adviser, President Trump hired a maverick military intellectual who won’t put up with any nonsense.

22 февраля, 01:31

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Sean Spicer, 2/21/2017, #13

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room  1:42 P.M. EST MR. SPICER:  Hey, good afternoon, everyone.  It's been a little while.  Hope you missed me.  (Laughter.)   Q    You missed us? MR. SPICER:  Absolutely.  We’ve got a lot to talk about today, so let’s get right to it. First off, I want to acknowledge the tragic plane crash that occurred in Australia that took the lives of five individuals, including four Americans.  The President’s thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims, and the U.S. embassy and consulate are ready to provide necessary and appropriate assistance. Moving on, the President was honored to announce that Lieutenant General McMaster will be his National Security Advisor.  General McMaster served this nation in the United States Army for over three decades, including during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Desert Storm. The President met with many distinguished and qualified candidates for the position, and as he has said that he will continue to consider many of them for other positions within the administration.  He is especially pleased that Lieutenant General Kellogg will stay on as the National Security Council Chief of Staff. The President is proud to welcome General McMaster to the team where he will have full authority to structure the office to his desires to best serve its ultimate mission, which is to protect the American interests at home and abroad. This morning, Secretary Kelly and the Department of Homeland Security released memos regarding the implementation of two of the President’s executive orders that are designed to protect the homeland.  These two memos provide explicit guidance to DHS staff on how to carry out two executive orders signed by the President on January 25th -- one dealing with interior enforcement and one dealing with border security.  Perhaps most critically, the President is empowering DHS to carry out the immigration laws currently on the books.   Of course, DHS gave a full briefing on these memos this morning, but just to briefly summarize a few of the facts:  The memo regarding the executive order “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States” outlines several practices and policies in order to strengthen the efficient and faithful execution of this country’s immigration laws.  That includes hiring more ICE agents and officers, as well as additional mission support and legal staff necessary to support their activities.  This memo also directs the establishment of the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement Office within ICE, fulfilling another major campaign promise of the President.  This office will facilitate the engagement with victims and their families to ensure that their questions and concerns regarding immigration enforcement efforts are addressed.  The memo regarding the executive order “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements” outlines the steps that DHS will take to secure the nation’s southern border, prevent further illegal immigration, and to repatriate illegal immigrants swiftly, consistently, and humanely.  This includes immediately identifying and allocating all sources of available funding for the planning, design, construction, and maintenance of a wall along our southern border and hiring of additional personnel, including 5,000 additional CBP border agents.  Again, I would refer you to DHS for further comment on these specific memos.  There are factsheets and Q&As on the DHS website that address many of the intricacies in areas within each of these executive orders that you might have questions on. Also, this weekend, the President had calls with the President of Panama and the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago.  Readouts of those calls have both been provided. The President’s team this weekend also had a very productive meeting on the President’s plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, and ensure that it is replaced with a system that works for all Americans. Back to the President’s schedule today, in honor of Black History Month, the President started his day by visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture.  The museum opened last September and has quickly become one of Washington’s most-visited attractions. The President was joined by a group of individuals that included his daughter, Ivanka; Dr. Ben Carson and his wife; Senator Tim Scott; Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; museum director Lonnie Bunch; Dr. David Skorton, who is the Secretary of the Smithsonian, as well as others. The President commented several times during his tour about how impressed he was with the museum.  Some of the exhibits that he was particularly drawn to included the section on Harriet Tubman, which featured a shawl that was given to her by Queen Victoria in the late 1800s; the section of the museum that featured the courageous contribution of African Americans that have made to the United States military.  And the President was particularly pleased by the Muhammad Ali exhibit with the quote, “I shook up the world” prominently displayed. The President also enjoyed viewing for the first time with Dr. and Mrs. Carson the exhibit dedicated to his extraordinary life.  Similarly, Alveda King, who had never viewed the museum’s exhibit on her uncle, the President was honored that he was able to share this experience with the two of them specifically. The President further expressed his appreciation for the tour, and said he looks forward to returning again.  His desire is to honor the immense contributions of courageous African American leaders throughout our history by building a more unified country, dedicated to liberty and justice. This afternoon, the President will have a routine, classified National Security Council briefing in the Situation Room, in addition to his Presidential Daily Briefing, which he received earlier this morning.  Then, this evening the President will have dinner with Vice President Pence.  I’m sure that they will discuss the Vice President's recent trip to Europe.  The Vice President was an incredible representative for our nation and the President during his time, where he reiterated our support for our European allies in unified pursuit of the noble ideals of freedom, democracy, and justice, and the rule of law and discussing how to do more to encourage all NATO allies to meet their financial obligations and commitments.   During his speech before the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, the Vice President conveyed the administration’s unwavering commitment to Europe’s peace and prosperity, especially remembering the tens of thousands of Americans who gave their lives to defend those ideals during both World War I and II.  These shared sacrifices are the backbone of our alliance and our mission of security through strength. During his time in Munich, the Vice President also met with nine world leaders.  The Vice President and these leaders discussed the issues most pressing to them, including the escalating violence in eastern Ukraine and the role of NATO in the fight against ISIS.  The Vice President also met in Brussels with President of Tusk -- Vice President Tusk of the Council of the European Union and NATO Secretary -- the NATO Secretary General.  As a candidate for office, President Trump actually called attention repeatedly to the fact that for too long, many of our NATO allies have not been sharing the financial burden.  The President looks forward to working closely with NATO to advance our shared objectives.  A strong NATO means a safer world.  And the United States looks forward to working with our partners in NATO to achieve just that. Looking ahead to the President’s upcoming schedule -- tomorrow, he will meet with Secretary of State Tillerson, fresh off his trip to Germany for the G20 Foreign Ministers Summit.  They'll discuss the President’s foreign policy agenda and the Secretary’s upcoming trip to Mexico. Thursday morning, he'll have a listening session regarding job creation in the manufacturing sector with CEOs and business leaders from different industries. On Friday, he'll deliver remarks to the Conservative Political Action Conference.  And we are just one week out today from the President’s Joint Address to Congress.  The President will continue to work closely with his team to craft a speech that lays out his ambitious policy agenda that will benefit all Americans.  Plans are currently in the works for pre- and post-address activities for the President and his staff.  And we'll have more updates as the week goes on. Before I take your questions, I want to address the recent threats and acts of vandalism on Jewish community centers throughout the country.  The President said this morning -- I just want to reiterate -- "The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community centers are horrible and painful, and a very sad reminder of the work that we must do" -- excuse me -- "the work that must be done to root our hate and prejudice and evil." With that, I’ll take some of your questions.  Jim Stinson.  Q    Sean, thank you.  I was curious if the President regrets or wants to clarify his characterization -- by the way, I have two questions -- of the media as an "enemy of the American people." MR. SPICER:  I think the President has been very clear that certain outlets have gone out of their way to not represent his record accurately, and it is a concern to him. And I think some reporters -- he has deep respect for the First Amendment, for the role of the press -- I’ve addressed this multiple times in the past.  He has a healthy respect for the press.  But I think that it’s a two-way street, as I’ve also said before, and I think that the President understands that certain outlets have gone out of their way to not be completely accurate and fair in their coverage of what’s going on. Q    Speaking of the media, I’ve noticed two times in the last week that you’ve been directly contradicted by two members of the media, one of them Bill Maher of HBO, who said that in front of guests at Mar-a-Lago, the President was briefed on the classified North Korean situation. MR. SPICER:  Say that again, I’m sorry. Q    The President and the Prime Minister of Japan were briefed in front of guests -- MR. SPICER:  No, I didn’t say that. Q    No, no, no, this is what was being said on HBO, that the President and the Prime Minister were briefed on classified information in front of guests at Mar-a-Lago.  I just want to clarify, did that happen?  Did they -- MR. SPICER:  No.  No.  I think I walked through this timeline before, Jim.  And it’s amazing -- a photo gets put out, the President has got a piece of paper, and the immediate conclusion is he’s got to be talking about classified information. The President was briefed on the situation in North Korea prior to the dinner, in a SCIF, that’s at Mar-a-Lago.  He went and had dinner.  He discussed the logistics of the press conference, which I’ve talked to you all before -- there was a question as to where to hold the press conference.  They had a discussion about the logistics of it.  And subsequent to that dinner, he was briefed again in a SCIF with updates on the situation in North Korea.  That’s it, plain and simple.   But to your first question, I think that it’s amazing that the immediate jump of conclusion to several outlets was, well, there’s a piece of paper, it must be classified.  I don’t -- it’s amazing to see that and to see people jump to that conclusion that he’s surrounded by his staff and members of the Japanese delegation, the conclusion is they must be doing something nefarious or wrong.  In fact, he followed every procedure that’s laid out. And I think in some cases, it’s disheartening to realize that those are the kind of immediate conclusions that somebody jumps to.  So when you talk about coverage, we have a free press.  We have the right for people to say and do what they believe.  But at some point, it is incumbent upon people to try to get it right.  And in that case, it wasn’t even attempted.  It was a jump to conclusion by many to say that there must be something else going on when, in fact, we were able to provide a very, very clear tick-tock as to what had happened in that. Jessica. Q    Sean, a question about the resignation of 10 people on the Asian American Council.  That happened last week.  And in the letter, they said in part, “We can no longer serve a President whose policies aim to create outcomes that are diametrically opposite to our principles, goals and charge.”  First of all, what’s the White House’s reaction?  And do you plan to appoint your own members to this council? MR. SPICER:  Those members of that council were political appointees of the Obama administration.  Their terms were set to expire this year.  So it’s not surprising in the sense that they were appointees of Barack Obama.  They were going to have their terms expire. Q    But in terms of -- But again, but -- I get it, but most political appointees from other agencies or whatever would automatically resign because of the term of these individuals, they would carry through until later in the year.  But I don’t think it’s surprising that people who were appointed by Barack Obama to fulfill his agenda suddenly understand that there is a new administration in town and didn’t want to stay on board. But we will make sure that we appoint people to this task force.  It’s important.  It’s something that’s provided guidance to multiple presidents in the past, and we will continue to do that. Shannon. Q    On the statement today about the anti-Semitic acts, what specifically is the President going to do to address that issue?  And, along those lines, there were reports earlier on that he was considering changing the mandate of this countering violent extremism program to focus just on Islamic extremist groups.  Is he still considering that, or would he also leave the scope of the program to also consider -- MR. SPICER:  Are you talking about the travel executive order? Q    No, no, no, this is the countering violent extremism program that -- MR. SPICER:  Yeah, I think we’re getting ahead of ourselves there.  There’s nothing to announce on that front.  And secondly, to the first part of your question, I think the President is going to do what he’s talked about since election night.  It’s through deed and action, talk about how we can unify this country and speak out against hate, anti-Semitism, racism.  And he’s going to continue to do that. And I think that he will show you over the course of months and years, through what he does in terms of his policies and his speech, that he is going to be a President that brings people together, that unites them, and that speaks very, very forcefully against those who are seeking to do hate or to tear people down because of their religion or their gender or the color of their skin.  I mean, those are all things that I think the President was clear on. John. Q    Two questions unrelated, if I could.  The next big piece in the immigration profile here at the White House is going to be the new executive order.  Is the President confident that this one will pass legal muster?  And if he is, what gives him that confidence? MR. SPICER:  Well, I think -- first, I want to be clear that we feel confident that we’re still going to prevail on the case -- the merits of the case.  I think that as was seen in the case of Massachusetts, once it is fully adjudicated, we will prevail because the authority is granted to the President to do what he has to, to protect the country.  So I feel very, very confident about where we're going to go. The second track that he's made very clear as well is that until that occurs, we're going to have a dual-track system.  And then we're going to make sure that we implement a second executive order that is tailored to achieve the same goals but in accordance with what the court said.  So we've been working very closely with the Department of State, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice and the team here at the White House to make sure that the next step achieves the President's goal of protecting the country and does so in a way that recognizes the concerns that the court had until we prevail at a later time.  So it's a dual-track thing. Q    Will this administration send American terror suspects picked up overseas to Guantanamo Bay for interrogation or prosecution? MR. SPICER:  I am not going to discuss that right now.  As the President has said very clearly before, we don't telegraph what we're going to do.  I think he has made very clear, though, that he believes that Guantanamo Bay does serve a very, very healthy purpose in our national security in making sure that we don't bring terrorists to our seas.  But I'm not going to get into what we may or may not do in the future. Q    Including American citizens? MR. SPICER:  Again, I'm just not going to -- Q    Sean, I want to give you a chance to respond to something because I think the President's remarks and your clarification about where he stands on anti-Semitism is clear.  But after that statement was made by the President, The Anne Frank Center released a pretty strongly worded one, saying that these remarks, while well-received, are a Band-Aid on the cancer within the Trump administration, saying that there is, whether blessed or otherwise, a sense of xenophobia within this administration.  What do you think about that? MR. SPICER:  Look, the President has made clear since the day he was elected and, frankly, going back through the campaign, that he is someone who seeks to unite this country.  He has brought a diverse group of folks into his administration, both in terms of actual positions and people that he has sought the advice of.  And I think he has been very forceful with his denunciation of people who seek to attack people because of their hate -- excuse me, because of their religion, because of their gender, because of the color of their skin.  And it is something that he is going to continue to fight and make very, very clear that he has no place in this administration.  But I think that it's ironic that no matter how many times he talks about this, that it's never good enough.  Today I think was an unbelievably forceful comment by the President as far as his denunciation of the actions that are currently targeted towards Jewish community centers, but I think that he's been very clear previous to this that he wants to be someone that brings this country together and not divide people, especially in those areas. So I saw that statement.  I wish that they had praised the President for his leadership in this area.  And I think that hopefully, as time continues to go by, they recognize his commitment to civil rights, to voting rights, to equality for all Americans. Q    Sean, on that, the southern part of --  MR. SPICER:  We started early with the two questions. Q    Sorry.  Sean, Southern Poverty -- I think you'll want to respond to this. MR. SPICER:  Okay. Q    Southern Poverty Law Center said that the number of anti-Muslim groups in the U.S. has tripled between 2015 and 2016, during the time of the campaign.  Is this message within the administration -- anti-Semitism is not allowed, xenophobia is not allowed -- anti-Muslim sentiment within the administration, has the President been forceful about that particular issue? MR. SPICER:  I think that the President, in terms of his desire to combat radical Islamic terrorism, he understands that people who want to express a peaceful position have every right in our Constitution.  But if you come here or want to express views that seek to do our country or our people harm, he is going to fight it aggressively, whether it's domestic acts that are going on here or attempts through people abroad to come into this country.  So there's a big difference between preventing attacks and making sure that we keep this country safe so that there is no loss of life in allowing people to express themselves in accordance with our First Amendment.  Those are two very, very different, different, different things.   Q    Sean, you talked about how the manufacturing -- I didn't know where you were going. MR. SPICER:  I was (inaudible) in the back.  (Laughter.)   Q    I saw the manufacturing CEOs are coming on Thursday, so let me ask you something that's important to them, which is the border adjustment tax.   The President earlier this year called it "too complicated."  Does he still feel that way?  And whether he feels this is complicated or not, is there something within the administration one way or another about whether the President, the administration wants to see this in or out of the tax package? MR. SPICER:  So there’s several pieces to that that I’ll try to unpack.  That counts as, like, eight questions.   Q    Does he feel it’s complicated, and what’s your preference? MR. SPICER:  So, first of all, on the meeting on Thursday, this is going to be a really historic opportunity for CEOs to come in and talk to members of the White House staff and others through various agencies about how we can create jobs, how regulations are stifling economic growth.  And I think we’ll have further details on that, but this is going to be a real interesting opportunity to really create a dialogue I think in a manner that hasn’t been done before -- but I’m not going to get ahead of myself on this -- where we can really discuss some of the inhibitors to job creation, job retraining, what do we need for American workers to get them ahead of the curve. With respect to specific policy positions, I think the President has been very clear that in the next couple weeks we expect to have a tax plan that gets out there.  That is being worked on continuously.  And so I’m not going to get in front of that.  While the CEOs are here, I’m sure beyond some of these things, that’s an opportunity for them to express what some of those policies are that are both helping them create jobs and grow the economy, and also inhibiting them.  So let’s let that conversation play out.   Yes. Q    Okay, thank you, Sean.  My name is Raquel (ph) from TV Global News (ph) Brazil.  And I have a question.  There are doubts in Brazil right now about what’s going to happen to the relationship between the two countries with the new administration, especially related to immigration and also to trade deals.  Does President Trump also plan to review policies -- bilateral policies with Brazil in trade deals?  And also, my second question, how does the administration see the current turmoil -- economical and political turmoil in Brazil?   And one more question, if I might.  (Laughter.)  President Trump spoke with some foreign leaders from South America, like Argentina, Colombia and Peru, but not -- it was the Vice President that spoke with President Temer from Brazil.  Why is that? MR. SPICER:  Well, obviously, we cherish our relationship with Brazil.  I think there’s a timing factor here and I think we’ll look forward to speaking with the President soon.  So I wouldn’t read too much into that right now.  It’s just a matter of getting things on the schedule. We’re going to review all the trade deals that are out there.  The President has made very clear some of them have occurred well into a decade, two decades ago.  I think the idea is to make sure that we are looking at all of the trade deals we have throughout the globe to make sure that they continue to benefit America and American workers.    And in many cases, we can update these deals.   So it’s not any one particular country.  I think that we’re going to look throughout the whole host of trade agreements, and then other trade-related agreements that we have with countries to make sure that they are the most up-to-date and they address the technological advances that have occurred, and look at the various services -- whether it’s financial services or manufacturing -- and that they reflect the current state of play. So this isn’t any one country.  I think the President made clear throughout the campaign and subsequent that he wants to review every trade deal to make sure that America and American workers are maintaining the best deal possible. Corbett (ph).  Oh, I’m sorry. Q    And on the turmoil, how does the administration see the turmoil in Brazil now? MR. SPICER:  I’m going to -- I think that’s a question for the Department of State right now.   Corbett, yeah. Q    Thanks, Sean.  Two questions for you.  One on the NSC meeting later this afternoon.  Is that the first meeting of the National Security Council of the President with all the principals there? MR. SPICER:  No, that is just a routine briefing.  But because of the nature of it, it’s happening in the Situation Room. Q    But is that with staff, or is that with -- MR. SPICER:  Staff. Q    Okay, so it’s not with, like, the principals committee.  MR. SPICER:  No. Q    When do you anticipate the first formal meeting of the National Security Council? MR. SPICER:  Well, I think General McMaster got here at noon today, so -- (laughter) -- we move fast, but I think that we need to give him a few days probably to get his team together. So the President was obviously very pleased with the selection.  I think when you saw the bipartisan support that General McMaster received from the variety of the political spectrum -- people who have served Republicans and Democrats, academics, pundits, columnists -- you know that he made an outstanding choice.  We want to get him in, show him around the office a little bit, and then get him going. But when we have a date to announce the next meeting, we’ll let you know. Q    The joint address for next week, what’s the President’s goal for that address? MR. SPICER:  I think that -- I’ll have a further update as the week goes on, and we’ll have briefings.  The President is going to lay out I think two main things -- where we’ve come and where we’re going.  I think that he is very pleased with the progress that he has made so far in the first month in office, and I think it’s an opportunity to remind members of Congress and the American people what he promised them on the campaign trail, what he’s done already in a very significant way to achieve and fulfill those promises that he made, but also talk about the challenges that we have as a nation and where we’re going.  And that’s everything from our relationship with other countries in this world to some of the various domestic problems that we face, the challenges that we face in cities, health care, education. But the President wants to make sure that the American people have a very clear indication as to where he’s taking this country and why he’s going to enact the policies he’s going to enact. John.  George, I’m sorry. Q    Thanks a lot, Sean.  Let me ask you a question about the Vice President’s European trip.  I’m curious whether he received any commitments from our European allies to commit more in terms of their financial contribution to NATO. MR. SPICER:  I think several of them -- I saw Chancellor Merkel’s comments previous to that, noting that they understand that the U.S. is asking for that commitment. Look, we’re one of the only countries -- there’s a handful -- that are doing what NATO requires, which is 2 percent of GDP.  Some of them are at 1.2, 1.3, 1.5, and some of them are below that.  But we’ve got to ask them to do what they agreed to do.  And I think we’ve had a very positive reaction from most of these NATO countries that understand that the financial agreement that they agreed to is something that they need to live up to.   And I think the Vice President continued to receive assurances, much like the President has through his foreign leader calls, where people not only understand it but are willing to follow through on it. Q    So it’s an ongoing process, or -- MR. SPICER:  Of course it’s an ongoing -- I mean, I think we need to follow up to make sure that the commitments that they’re making on the phone or in person, in the case of the Vice President, are followed up. Dave. Q    Sean, thanks.  The DHS memos today -- obviously these immigration enforcement efforts cost money, hiring more agents. MR. SPICER:  Right. Q    Do you envision that the current budget is sufficient, or are you going to need to go to Congress for more money? MR. SPICER:  Yeah, I think right now ICE and DHS in particular, as well as CBP, are looking at what this is going to cost and how much and putting a request together, and then figuring out how much can be handled through reallocation of resources and how much we can save maybe in another area, but then also work with Congress. Q    One other subject, different matter.  There was an election report out today that the President raised more small campaign donations in 2016 than either Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders combined.  Did he have a reaction to that?  Has he seen that? MR. SPICER:  I don’t know, and I would ask you to probably go through the RNC for that.  That’s a political matter that we generally don’t discuss. Yeah. Q    Sean, the National Center for Transgender Equality, citing reliable sources, says the Trump administration today will rescind Obama-era guidance requiring schools to allow transgender kids to use the restroom consistent with their gender identity.  Will the Trump administration rescind that guidance? MR. SPICER:  Right now that’s an issue that the Department of Justice and the Department of Education are addressing.  I would tell you that -- and I think that there will be further guidance coming from DOJ in particular with respect to not just the executive order, but also the case that’s in front of the Supreme Court.   The President has maintained for a long time that this is a states' rights issue and not one for the federal government.  So while there will be further guidance coming out on this, I think that all you have to do is look at what the President’s view has been for a long time -- that this is not something that the federal government should be involved in; this is a states' rights issue.    Matt. Q    In the wake of the Vice President’s trip to Europe, there’s questions as to the administration’s position on the future of the European Union with regard to a number of political movements across the continent advocating for the disbandment eventually of the European Union.  I wanted to see if you could clarity the administration’s position on the future of the European Union. MR. SPICER:  I think the Vice President had great meetings with several European Union leaders and made it very clear to them that we’ll continue to work with them, and reaffirmed our commitment to working with these nations.  I mean, there’s no update on that. Cecilia. Q    Thank you.  On immigration, on the DHS memo, two parts, if I may.  Is one of the goals here mass deportation? MR. SPICER:  No, not at all.  This isn’t -- look, I think what we have to get back to is understanding a couple things.  There’s a law in place that says if you’re in this country illegally, that we have an obligation to make sure that the people who are in our country are here legally.  What the order sets out today is ensures that the million-or-so people that have been adjudicated already, that ICE prioritizes, creates a system of prioritization, and makes sure that we walk through that system in a way that protects this country. This is consistent with everything the President has talked about, which is prioritizing the people who are here who represent a threat to public safety or have a criminal record.  And all this does is lay out the exact procedures to make sure that that subgroup of people who pose a threat to our nation because of a conviction or a violation of public safety or have a criminal record are adjudicated first and foremost.  That's it, plain and simple. Q    So is then -- a follow-up to that.  Is the White House's message to date to undocumented people in this country whose only crime is being in this country illegally, "Don't worry, or you're on notice"? MR. SPICER:  No, the message from this White House and from the DHS is that those people who are in this country and pose a threat to our public safety or have committed a crime will be the first to go and we will be aggressively making sure that that occurs.  That is what the priority is. Q    What about the others who aren't?  They're watching this fearful right now. MR. SPICER:  Cecilia, the President has said multiple times that we've got to look at this issue on a very, very holistic way.  And the number-one priority when you look at the scope of how many people are in the country illegally, the number-one priority is making sure that people who pose a threat to this country are immediately dealt with.  And this is not a small group of people; we're talking close to a million people who have already been adjudicated and had their status processed through a formal due process system. And so what we need to do now is to make sure that we focus the resources and the efforts on those people going first and foremost.  And the factsheet and the information that we put out lays that out very, very clearly what is being done.  But for so long, the people at ICE and CBP had their hands cuffed behind them.  And when they were going to deal with the mission of their job, the last administration had so many carve-outs for who could be and who couldn't be adjudicated that it made it very difficult for the customs and enforcement people to do their job and enforce the laws of this country. But right now, what we've done is to make sure that they have the ability and the guidance and the resources to do what their mission is.  And that's it, plain and simple.  And the President is consistent with his priority of making sure that those people who pose a threat to this country are the first ones to go.  Alexis. Q    Sean, on immigration, just to follow up, the President has a carve-out himself for DACA. MR. SPICER:  Yeah. Q    Can you explain the process -- expand on what you were saying on Thursday about the process that the administration is taking to decide -- MR. SPICER:  And this is what I was basically talking to Cecilia about, which is the President has made clear when you have 12, 14, 15 million people in the country illegally, that there has to be a system of priority.  And right now, ICE's priority is going to make sure that we focus first and foremost on that.  Specifically, in the guidance, it talks about the DACA and DAPA, unless someone who fits under that program fits into the sub-category is not subject to what is being dealt with now. Remember, everybody who is here illegally is subject to removal at any time.  That is consistent with every country, not just ours.  If you're in this country in an illegal manner, that obviously there's a provision that could ensure that you be removed.  But the priority that the President has laid forward and the priority that ICE is putting forward through DHS's guidance is to make sure that the people who have committed a crime or pose a threat to our public safety are the priority of their efforts, first and foremost. Katelyn. Q    John Kasich -- Q    Let me follow.  The President has also, and his team has also had reservations about undocumented people in the United States who are beneficiaries of public assistance or access to benefits, either at the state or the federal level.  What is the President going to be doing to either issue guidance or executive action of some sort to indicate that he would like to preclude that from continuing? MR. SPICER:  I think we have talked in the past about the respect that the President has for taxpayer money with respect to sanctuary cities and the enforcement measures that he's putting forward on immigration.  Right now, obviously, the actions today are focused on people who are in this country and what we need to do on our southern border to facilitate the building of the wall that he's talked about.   So we're doing this one step at a time in a very methodical way, and right now the focus is to make sure that ICE and CBP and DHS have the authority and the resources to carry out that first mission.  We will have more -- and then continues to see that immigration is one of those issues that he was very, very clear and consistent on in the campaign, and we're going to continue to implement the policies that he talked about to keep the country safe. Katelyn. Q    Thank you.  John Kasich has been a very vocal critic of President Trump, even in the campaign, saying his immigration plan was crazy, his statement that the elections were rigged was silly, and he did not endorse him and did not vote for him.  What is the President hoping to accomplish with their meeting at the White House on Friday? MR. SPICER:  So, Governor Kasich has reached out on multiple occasions to meet with the President to follow on, and the President has shown through the transition and since his time in office that he wants to meet with anybody that can help move this country forward and share in his vision.  I think that includes people who are with him, who are not with him, who are on the other side of the aisle, who are independents, union workers, business leaders.   Now that he is President -- and, frankly, I would again date it back to the transition -- he understands that he's the President for every American.  And he's talked consistently about having a united country.  And you do that by bringing people together, whether or not they agree with you on every issue, or one or two issues.  But if there's common ground that can be found to move the country forward, then great.  And I think so many of the President's priority issues are issues that Ohio is dealing with and that he wants to make sure that he can continue to work with Governor Kasich so that every American benefits. April. Q    Did Kasich ask for the meeting? MR. SPICER:  Yes. Q    Okay, what did the President gain from his tour today?  You talked about where he visited, the exhibits that he visited.  Did he also visit slavery?  And the reason why I'm asking is, is because when he was candidate Trump, he said things like "we made this country," meaning white America, and not necessarily black.  Did he gain -- MR. SPICER:  I don’t know why you would say that.  What do you mean? Q    No, no, no, he said that.  I heard him say that. MR. SPICER:  No, no, but look -- the answer to your question is -- one of the first exhibits that he visited was one of the slavery exhibits.  And the director walked him through some very amazing stories and statistics about where slavery was prevailing, not just in traditional Southern colonies but throughout the country.  So they did have a very robust discussion about slavery early on in the tour.   And I think that it was a very eye-opening and powerful tour for him, and, frankly, for every American.  And I would encourage any American that can find the time and get in, because it's so popular.  But it really is enlightening as far as parts of our history that people may not fully appreciate or know, and the contributions and the sacrifices that so many Americans have made that are a critical piece to our history that sometimes don’t get the attention they deserve.   So I think the President walked away from there -- and I mentioned in the remarks that he mentioned to Lonnie that he wanted to come back, because you can't do it justice.  And it's much like the Holocaust Museum where you go through it once and then you sit there and start thinking of all the things that you saw, and think, you know, I'd like to go back and more fully explore what I saw because it piqued some degree of interest or intellectual curiosity.   But he was very taken aback.  It’s a very, very powerful institution and tour, and it covers a lot of ground.  I think he was really proud to share it with Dr. Carson.  I mean, when you walk through that museum and you see all of the elements of our history, when you walk up to this one glass exhibit that is Dr. Carson's scrubs and pictures of him, and to experience that with him and his wife for the first time, and you realize how amazing that is for any American to be part of a Smithsonian, and you're standing with Dr. Carson and his wife where he is experiencing it with you for the first time and how powerful that must have been was, I think, a real interesting opportunity for him to sit there, hand to hand, with another American and watch them be part of American history.  And you also appreciate some of the real contributions that Dr. Carson has made to medicine and the depth and breadth of his accomplishments. Q    And lastly, kind of putting this with the next question, is there any advancement on the CBC meeting with the President?  And also, the head of the CBC said he was wondering if the President saw anything from current and past members of the CBC while he was in the museum, to get a little bit of information on them before this meeting happens. MR. SPICER:  I'll have further updates on that.  I know the President looks forward to that meeting, and I think that we're in the process of trying to begin setting that up.  And so I'll have further updates on that once we get closer.  I know that we've got some additional work before the month concludes on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and some meetings that we're working on with them.  But I want to get them locked in before I go further. Q    What did he think about the members that he saw in the museum? MR. SPICER:  Well, when you walk through one of them, there's a big jumbotron, and we paused for a while, and John Lewis was there giving a very powerful speech.  And we just paused and watched that for a little while.  So, again, I think that, respectfully, when you walk through a museum like this there's a lot of moments where you're just stopping and taking it in, and there's -- if you haven’t been there, you walk up this one ramp and they stop and there's two big screens, and one of them is a video screen, and it's a massive jumbotron -- Q    The civil rights -- MR. SPICER:  Right.  And we watched the video of John Lewis talking there and describing his efforts in championing voting and civil rights. So I know the President paused and watched it and listened to it.  And again, I would just go back to how he described his overall -- we didn’t dissect the different things, but I watched him and it was a very powerful experience for him, and I know he looks forward to going back.  Hallie. Q    Sean, two questions for you.  First one on undocumented immigrants.  You just made very clear that the President's priority is to deport those who pose a threat to public safety.   MR. SPICER:  Correct. Q    I know you're familiar with the case in Arizona of the mother, Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos.  Is she a threat to this country? MR. SPICER:  I'm going to leave that up to ICE.  We don’t get involved from the White House to particular cases.  That's not -- Q    But she's a symbol --  MR. SPICER:  You're right, and I understand. Q    But is she a threat to public safety, though? MR. SPICER:  But, Hallie, I think the answer is, is that ICE determined that she had violated the law in a way that was in accordance with this.  Again, we've got to go back to this idea that our job, especially here at the White House, isn’t to call balls and strikes and say, well, this person only violated part of the law, or let them go on this.   If this was any other subject, if this was tax evasion and we said, well, they only really violated a little bit of -- they only cheated on their taxes a little, you wouldn’t be saying hey, should they really be going to be prison or should they be getting a fine?  At some point, laws are laws.  And if people have a problem with the law, whether it's at the local, state or federal issue, then we should petition our lawmakers and the executive at that particular branch of government and change it.  But our job shouldn’t be to figure out should this individual not have to abide by the law, should this individual get a pass.  If we want to change the law, we've got a very amazing process here in this country to both create and change laws. And so I don’t want to comment on the specifics of any one case because I think that then puts the White House in a position of deciding who is following the law and who isn’t, and who should get a pass.  The bottom -- Q    But isn’t it different from you just said of prioritization of cases?  There's a difference --  MR. SPICER:  No, no, there's a difference.  When you have 13 or 14 million people, they're in the country -- you know, I think it's one thing to say prioritize people who pose a threat to public safety and go after this individual or that individual, or whatever.  There's no question, you have to have priorities in anything -- what do you do first, what do you do second, what do you do third.  And when you're talking about, 13, 14, 15, potentially more, millions of people in this country, the President needed to give guidance, especially after what they went through in the last administration where there were so many carve-outs that ICE agents and CBP members had to figure out each individual whether or not they fit in a particular category and they could adjudicate that case.  The President wanted to take the shackles off individuals in these agencies and say:  You have a mission, there are laws that need to be followed; you should do your mission and follow the law.  And for specific cases, I would refer you to ICE in particular and do that. Q    Sean, where did you get the 13 and 14 million number? MR. SPICER:  Hold on, Hallie is on number two. Q    Thank you. Q    The 13, 14 million number -- where did you get that number? MR. SPICER:  Glenn, will you please not interrupt her? Q    Do you want to take that now? MR. SPICER:  No, no, I think -- I'm not going to allow you to be interrupted.  Q    So the second question is on the anti-Semitism comments that you referenced from the podium, the President made very clear.  You said, though, that he has taken opportunities in the past.  Just last week, though, he had the opportunities to deliver a message to the American people about anti-Semitism.  He made very clear he was not anti-Semitic and he was, in fact, insulted by that.  But as far as a broader message to the American people, he declined to offer one.   Is the President comfortable with his obligation as the leader of this country to deliver that kind of broad and forceful message to Americans?  And if so, why didn’t he do it sooner in the case of these attacks? MR. SPICER:  Well, I think the idea, Hallie, that -- he has.  And I think there's a point at which he talked literally on election night about uniting this country and making sure that all Americans, et cetera.  And every time there's an instance, it's interesting -- I mean, I get a question, "Is he going to denounce this one, is he going to denounce this one?"  At some point, the question is asked and answered.  He has stood very forcefully against -- Q    That's not what I'm asking.  I'm not asking -- MR. SPICER:  What are you -- Q    I'm asking, is he comfortable with his role as the person who needs to be delivering a broader message to America, not denouncing it, which he did clearly today. MR. SPICER:  Right.  And I think that he is very comfortable and understands that as the leader of the free world, the President of this country, the Commander-in-Chief, that he has an awesome responsibility to make it very clear where we're going as a country and what our values are, and that he has spoken very forcefully that we don’t stand for this kind of behaviors, and words, and intolerance, that we are a country that should bring people together and that we shouldn’t tolerate people who are hating on individuals because of their gender or because of their religion or the color of their skin, or a variety of other things, but that there's a point at which it's asked and answered.   And I think the President has been very clear over and over again, going back through the campaign, the transition and now, that that's the kind of President that he wants to be, that's the kind of country that he wants to lead. Trey. Q    Thanks, Sean.  Following the DHS memos this morning, the ACLU said the courts won't allow these orders to become a reality.  How is the administration preparing for another potential legal battle?  And do you have any response to the ACLU? MR. SPICER:  Well, I think we have done a phenomenal job of working with the various departments, particularly DHS and DOJ, State, and through the White House staff, to make sure that we are well within any concerns that the court might have.   And as I mentioned, I think it's important to continue to emphasize we feel as though the first one did that as well, and we were vindicated several times in the court.  We have an issue with the 9th Circuit and I think we will overcome that, ultimately, on the merits.  But in the meantime, a dual-track is something that we wanted to pursue to make sure that we do everything we can, as I mentioned before, to keep the country safe. Q    Sean, thank you.  The Australian foreign minister is here today, meeting the Vice President. MR. SPICER:  I'm sorry, say that again. Q    The Australian foreign minister is meeting the Vice President today and also the Secretary of State tomorrow.  I guess we can assume that the U.S.-Australia refugee deal will come up.  Now, last time we spoke, the President was still considering and reviewing a deal.  Can you just update us on what the current position is? MR. SPICER:  We'll have a readout of that. Q    And just --  MR. SPICER:  Okay, of course everyone gets two.  (Laughter.) Q    If you could just update us on the current position on the deal.  And also, given that recent exposure on the President's distaste for it, will Australia be expected to return the favor? MR. SPICER:  Look, again, I would wait.  We'll have a readout after that call as far as what they discussed.  But I've got nothing -- I don't want to get ahead of the Vice President's meeting with either the Secretary of State or the Vice President. Kristen. Q    Thank you.  I have two questions.  One, on the immigration refugee executive order that we're expecting in the coming days, so that it withstands legal challenges, can you tell us what the language might look like as it relates to Syrian refugees? MR. SPICER:  I appreciate the effort, but when we have it ready we'll get it out.  And I think part of this is --  Q    (Inaudible) ban on Syrian refugees? MR. SPICER:  Excuse me?  Again, I appreciate the second try, but we're not ready to announce it.  And part of it is, is that we're making sure that it is completely ready to go.  And so when we have that, we will get it out to you.  And I would just -- the reason that we haven't announced it is it's not ready to be announced. Q    I want to try one more on -- MR. SPICER:  Of course.   Q    -- the comments that the President made today about anti-Semitism.  In terms of the timing, obviously he was asked about it, but they also came after his daughter, Ivanka, sent out that tweet.  Has she counseled him?  Was she one of the people saying it's important for you to forcefully denounce this?  Why today? MR. SPICER:  Because the President was visiting the African American Museum, he wanted to make it very clear.  I think it was very powerful that, while there, and while understanding the struggles of so many -- and we talk about how one of the beauties of history is that we don't repeat itself.  And I think that when you're at a museum like that and seeing the struggles that so many Americans faced and overcame, that you want to remind people that there is still issues that our country is grappling with and that there is no place for that hate and for that language. And I think -- as I mentioned, it was a very powerful opportunity for him to say that and to make clear, again, what his opinions were. Q    Does he regret not doing it last week, Sean? MR. SPICER:  I'm sorry? Q    Does he regret not stating this comment last week? MR. SPICER:  The President was very clear.  That was a very -- I think, as I mentioned to Hallie, he has discussed this over and over again.  I think there's a point to which his position is abundantly clear.  His attempts and his desire and his rhetoric to unite the country has been expressed over and over again. Sarah. Q    Thanks, Sean.  The New York Times is reporting that Trump's budget director is preparing a budget that eliminates the Export-Import Bank.  But several lawmakers, including Senator Heitkamp, have come out of private meetings with President Trump and said that in those private meetings he expressed support for the export bank.  So which is it?  Does he support Ex-Im or does he support eliminating it? MR. SPICER:  I can confirm that the OMB director -- the budget director is working on a budget.  (Laughter.)  Beyond that, I'm not going to get ahead of the OMB director right now.  They are drafting a budget, they are talking to members of Congress and other interested parties about funding levels and such, but we're not at a position to go yet. Yes. Q    Sean, just wanted to circle on Alexis's question.  Since the DHS guidance did not eliminate DACA, does that mean that the program is remaining in place, that it's a settled matter and it's not going away? MR. SPICER:  No, Jordan.  What it means is that this particular enforcement is tailored to what I have been referencing over and over again -- that what we're talking about today is the implementation of those two executive orders, one specifically that's tasking the agencies under DHS to address a very specific problem of the million or so, plus or minus, people that they have identified, that they have then adjudicated with already going through the process to be adjudicated and taken out of the country. Q    That means a decision on DACA could come any day.  MR. SPICER:  That's right, exactly.  It just means that this -- what it means, more than anything, is that this order does not address that and it's very clear in the Q&A -- and, again, I would refer you back to DHS's website that has all of that. Goyal. Q    Thank you very much.  Two questions please.  One, it's been one month on the job for you and for the President, and you are already talk of the town around the globe.  (Laughter.)  My two questions are, one --  MR. SPICER:  My wife would disagree with you.  (Laughter.)  It's not always positive, too. Q    It looks like, Sean, that the President's order is working at least around the globe because more than 60,000 Pakistanis have been deported by Saudi Arabia.  But they're saying that they were illegals and also they're a threat to the country.  And also, at the same time, Pakistani government is arresting hundreds of terrorists inside the country.  Any presidential message? MR. SPICER:  Look, I'm not going to -- there's nothing that I have in terms of an update of what's going on in Pakistan.  I would refer you to the Department of State with respect to specific policies.  But the broader point that you're making is I think each country needs to look at what they need to do to control the people that are entering their country and keep their people safe. When you look at our laws in particular, and compare them to so many other countries around the globe, we actually tend to probably fall in the lower end of how tough our immigration policies are vis-à-vis someone else. Q    Sean, my second question. MR. SPICER:  I'm sorry. Q    As far as illegal immigrants are concerned in the U.S., millions of illegal immigrants that were waiting for the last eight or ten years that they might see a light in the dark tunnel, and now they’re hoping that President Trump will have a light for them.  So what is the President’s message for them who are in this country for five, 10, 15 or 20 years but they’re not -- they don’t have any criminal records? MR. SPICER:  Well, look, the President has said before he’s got a big heart.  And I think that as we continue to develop policy on immigration, it’s going to be, as we’ve talked about in the past, prioritized -- what we go after first, second third.  The President has made very clear he understands the plight of some of those individuals.  He’s got a big heart.  He understands the impact it has on many families, many communities. But we will continue to develop policies that will address that.  And again, today’s focus is specifically on those two executive orders, and I’m going to limit it to that. Q    Sean, at the beginning of the month, Senator John McCain sent a letter to the President requesting that the administration provide arms to Ukrainians fighting Russian separatists within their country.  When will the President respond to Senator McCain’s letter?  And what is the administration’s position on lethal aid to Ukrainians fighting Russian separatists? MR. SPICER:  I don’t have anything for you on that.  I’ll try to get back to you on that.  I know that we’re very pleased to watch Senator McCain praise the pick of General McMaster.  That’s obviously someone that we will consult with.  But we were pleased to see so much support for him. Scott Newman (ph). Q    On Russia -- critics of the President have said that at time he doesn’t talk tough enough on the subject.  General McMaster, though, has been labeled by a lot of people as being pretty hawkish.  I’m curious what, if any, difference in tone or tenor or strategy we should expect now that they’re working together. Q    Well, I think, as I mentioned a couple times, I think there is widespread praise for General McMaster and his understanding and command of national security matters, foreign policy matters.  He’s going to be a great asset to the President’s national security team. But ultimately, the President has always been the decider, whether it’s Russia or any other issue.  And I think you’re right, he has made it very clear that if he can get a deal with Russia, something that the last several administrations have tried to do, that he’s going to do it.  And if he can’t, he won’t.  But he is going to try.  And I think his success as a businessman and negotiator should be seen as a positive sign for him to be able to do that. But he understands that if he can find common ground on defeating ISIS and combatting terrorism, growing the economy where we can find areas of economic interest, then we’re going to do it.  But that’s where we’re going to continue to work with Russia if we can.  He’ll get a deal.  If he can’t, he won’t.  But he’s going to try.  And I think where others have failed, he’s going to make sure that he does everything possible to make sure that if it’s in the interest of the United States he will get a deal. Q    I have another question on General McMaster.  So how much leeway is he going to get to restructure, to bring on his own people?  There were some reports that Admiral Harward was not allowed to, or others as well.  So can you address that? MR. SPICER:  Thank you.  I can.  He will have 100 percent.  The President has been very, very clear with that.  He is the National Security Advisor, and he will have whatever he needs to implement a successful team.   But with respect to Admiral Harward that you brought up, Admiral Harward made it very, very clear that he wanted this job, he would love to take it.  He was impressed with the team.  But during the course of discussions, it came up -- he said: Before I continue with this discussion, I need to address some financial and family concerns.  He went back, he came back to us and said, I am unable to continue the discussions because of there’s some financial concerns and some family issues that we have.  I spent 40 years serving this country in the United States Navy. I talked to him again Saturday night, and he said:  If there’s another opening in a year or two, I would be honored, I am so impressed with the team that’s there.  And I would urge people to actually talk to him.  He was so excited about being part of the team.  He was available to as many reporters as he could take.  We gave out his information -- his contact information.  And he’s been very clear.  He wrote a letter to the President prior to -- first thing Tuesday morning.  He was in the UAE, he sent the letter over and we had it first thing in the morning, where he said, because of family concerns, because of some financial constraints, having served this nation for 40 years, I can’t take this job, but I'm unbelievably impressed.   All of the rumors about the discretion that he would have over staff or any other thing were 100 percent false.  He's made it clear that he would love to serve in the future, that he was impressed with the team, that he wanted to do this.  There were just some constraints financially and family-wise that come with -- or after having served 40 years in the military, sacrifices both financially and family-wise that he had had to make.   But I talked to him several times, and the team has talked to him.  But ultimately, the President was very, very impressed with General McMaster.  He had always been one of the individuals that he thought stood above so many other folks.  He was impressed with the entire list, John Bolton and others.  But so many people had spoken to him.  General Mattis, Tom Cotton, other senators really praised General McMaster's command of the issues, his management, his style, his understanding of the geopolitical landscape.  And I think that's why you saw such amazing widespread bipartisan praise for him, and why he will be such an asset to the national security team.  So, ultimately, we ended up with the best choice.  And I think that's going to benefit not just this administration but our entire nation. Q    Sean, can we expect him to get anyone else from the top of -- any senior people at the NSC? MR. SPICER:  I'm sorry? Q    Can we expect that he may replace any others in the NSC? MR. SPICER:  Again, I just can't be any clearer.  I think that we've got an amazing team.  He's been impressed with them.  But the President has, as he did with other candidates, told them that they would lead the team and that he would have the discretion of it. Jeff. Q    I just wanted to follow on that.  You said that he has the full authority to structure his office as he sees fit.  Does that extend to the principals committee, as well?  After he comes in and takes a look at the whole apparatus, if he advises the President and he would prefer not to have the chief strategist as a member of the principals committee, would the President -- MR. SPICER:  I think the President has made clear to him he's got full authority to structure the national security team the way he wants.  Obviously, with something like that, he would come to the President and make that recommendation.  But the President would take that under serious consideration.  I don’t want to go ahead with this person or that person or structure, but the President made it very clear with him and the other candidates that they had 100 percent control and authority over the national security committee. Thank you, guys.  I'll see you tomorrow. Q    Will McMaster have to retire?  Can you clarify that? MR. SPICER:  No, he will stay on active duty.   Q    Does that require Senate confirmation then? MR. SPICER:  No.  He will stay on active duty.  That was the case with Powell and I think some other folks. Q    One more clarification just before you go.  So when the new EO comes out, you won't rescind the original one and you'll leave it in place? MR. SPICER:  That's correct.  Yes.  Thank you, guys. END  2:41 P.M. EST

22 февраля, 01:27

HUFFPOST HILL - CPAC Refuses To Normolopoulize Pedophilia

Like what you read below? Sign up for HUFFPOST HILL and get a cheeky dose of political news every evening!   Donald Trump paid a visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture or, as he knows it, “Examples of People Who’ve Done an Amazing Job and Are Being Recognized More and More, I Notice.” The president went most of the day without tweeting, which might explain why all those coyotes finally stopped howling. And Milo Yiannopoulos was disinvited from this year’s CPAC, so as to avoid sullying the good name of the annual conference that has played host to such high-minded things as the “Andrew Breitbart Defender of the First Amendment Award,” the “If Heaven Has a Gate, A Wall, and Extreme Vetting, Why Can’t America?” breakout session and “Tomi Lahren.” This is HUFFPOST HILL for Tuesday, February 21st, 2017: ADMINISTRATION RAMPING UP DEPORTATIONS - Willa Frej: “A set Department of Homeland Security memorandums released Tuesday reveal that President Donald Trump has declared an open season on the deportation of undocumented immigrants. ‘The Department will no longer exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement,’ one document says. They also expanded Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s ability to perform expedited removals on people who have been living in the U.S. for up to two years. The U.S. will also prosecute the parents of unaccompanied minors as smugglers, according to the documents. DHS directed ICE to hire 10,000 additional people to get the job done, according to one of the memos. The document does indicate that the priority remains ‘removable aliens’ who have been convicted of a crime or charged with a crime. It does not, to the chagrin of many conservatives, suggest any changes to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.” [HuffPost] WHY WE’RE LOCKING OUR DOORS - In case you’re wondering why a lot of D.C.-based reporters made a big deal about a gunman showing up to Comet Ping Pong, this is why. Ariel Edwards-Levy: “A narrow majority of President Donald Trump’s supporters agree with him that the media is their enemy, a new HuffPost/YouGov survey finds, although most Americans overall don’t feel similarly. Trump tweeted last Friday that the media is the ‘enemy of the American People,’ a statement that drew criticism from many reporters and disavowals even from some members of his party. Most Trump voters, 51 percent, say the media is an enemy to people like them, according to the poll, with 36 percent considering the media unfriendly, and just 5 percent saying it’s friendly or an ally. Overall, 22 percent of Americans consider the media an enemy to people like them, with 19 percent saying it’s unfriendly, 21 percent that it’s friendly, and 14 percent that it’s an ally.” [HuffPost] HuffPost Haircuts: Arthur Delaney (h/t Christina Wilkie), Christina Wilkie (h/t Christina Wilkie), Whitney Snyder (h/t Jeffrey). Like HuffPost Hill? Then order Eliot’s book, The Beltway Bible: A Totally Serious A-Z Guide To Our No-Good, Corrupt, Incompetent, Terrible, Depressing, and Sometimes Hilarious Government  Does somebody keep forwarding you this newsletter? Get your own copy. It’s free! Sign up here. Send tips/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to [email protected] Follow us on Twitter - @HuffPostHill  PRUITT: SAY ‘PLEASE’ AND ‘THANK YOU’ AS WE DESTROY THE EARTH Also, he’s probably going to fire everybody. Alexander Kaufman: “Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt mentioned a ‘toxic environment’ just once during his first address Tuesday to the embattled agency staff. But he wasn’t talking about industry pollution or conserving nature. He was referring to his critics’ political rhetoric. ‘Forgive the reference, but it’s a very toxic environment’ the controversial new administrator said in the speech, which lasted under 20 minutes. ‘Civility is something I believe in very much,’ he added. ‘We ought to be able to get together and wrestle through some issues in a civil manner.’ Then, at last, he began to outline his vision for the EPA. He described an agency that prioritized making it easier for polluters to comply with regulations. He promised to listen intently to companies before saddling them with new regulations. He admonished his new employees, some fearing layoffs amid looming budget cuts, for acting outside the agency’s legal mandate and running roughshod over states’ rights.” [HuffPost]  Oh right, this: “Today is the deadline for former Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt to hand over thousands of emails. A judge set the deadline last week, a day before Pruitt was confirmed as the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency. The Center for Media and Democracy first requested the emails in 2015 over concern for Pruitt’s interests with energy companies as attorney general, specifically oil, gas, and coal companies, and conservative organizations. Nearly 2,600 emails have been requested.” [KOTV’s Justin Dougherty]  HERE’S ANOTHER THING THAT MAY OR MAY NOT HAPPEN - Maybe his tax returns will be included in the budget. Paul M. Krawzak: “President Donald Trump’s administration is aiming to release a fiscal 2018 budget outline on March 14, a White House official confirmed Sunday to CQ. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said it is the White House’s ‘intention’ to release the outline, also called a ‘skinny’ budget, on that date. That date is not set in stone and could change. Mick Mulvaney, the new director of the Office of Management and Budget, has only just gotten to work in the White House budget office. He was confirmed and sworn into office on Feb. 16…. Some congressional aides and budget experts had earlier expressed doubts about whether the Trump administration would have time to craft a budget overview, depending on when the Senate confirmed an OMB director…. Previous presidents in their first year typically have released a budget outline in late February and the full budget in April or May.” [Roll Call]  WHITE HOUSE SHORTCHANGES TRANSGENDER KIDS - Thank goodness that Ivanka is there to moderate President Trump. Amanda Terkel: “White House press secretary Sean Spicer gave a clear indication Tuesday that the new administration will not be a forceful defender of transgender rights, saying President Donald Trump believes that issue should be left up to the states. The Trump administration is reportedly preparing to rescind a policy issued by President Barack Obama’s administration mandating that any school that receives federal money must treat a student’s gender identity as his or her sex. Schools, for example, would therefore have to allow transgender individuals to use the restroom that corresponds to their gender identity, rather than the sex assigned to them at birth. Spicer declined to say exactly what the administration had in the works, although he said it was an issue that the Departments of Education and Justice are addressing…. ‘The president has maintained for a long time that this is a states’ rights issue and not one for the federal government,’ Spicer said.” [HuffPost]  PRESIDENT HAS TO INSIST HE’S NOT INTERESTED IN KRISTALLNACHT 2 - Our correspondence with our pen pals on Earth 2 has really ground to a halt as we have to explain everything twice. Fred Barbash, Ben Guarino and Brian Murphy: “President Trump called anti-Semitic violence ‘horrible’ and vowed Tuesday to take steps to counter extremism in comments that followed criticism that the White House had not clearly denounced vandalism and threats targeting Jewish institutions. Hours before Trump’s remarks, Hillary Clinton called on her former presidential rival to speak out against anti-Semitic acts after more than 170 Jewish graves were found toppled at a cemetery in Missouri…. The remarks by Trump also appear aimed at easing pressure on his administration, which faces claims from opponents that it has failed to distance itself from extremist ideology and has emboldened right-wing groups through its populist, America-first themes.” [WaPo]  IT’S POSSIBLE TRUMP IS AN ENORMOUS HYPOCRITE - It’s almost as though he thought Obama was “lazy” because of ugly stereotypes or something! Josh Dawsey: “Donald Trump regularly assailed President Barack Obama for playing golf, then spent the first weekends of his own presidency doing just that. He attacked Obama for using Air Force One to campaign, and did it over the weekend just a month into the job. He mocked Obama for heading out of Washington at taxpayer expense, but appears to have no qualms about doing so himself. One month in, Trump is using the presidency to boost his political and personal goals — not breaking laws or ethics rules, experts say, but ignoring his past criticisms and vows.” [Politico]  Trump is running out of non-crazy national security experts. National Security Council spokesman and former CIA agent Edward Price explains why couldn’t work for this president in a brutal op-ed. [WaPo]  FRIENDLY REMINDER THAT STATE LEGISLATORS KNOW WHAT THEY’RE DOING - Well, most of the time ― certainly more than the current administration. Ian Simpson: “Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe on Tuesday vetoed a bill that would have blocked funding for Planned Parenthood, which provides abortions and other health services. The bill passed by the Republican-controlled legislature would have barred the state from providing funds to clinics that perform abortions not covered by Medicaid, the federal healthcare program for the poor. McAuliffe, a Democrat, said the measure would harm thousands of Virginians who relied on Planned Parenthood healthcare services and programs. He vetoed a similar measure last year. ‘Attempts to restrict women’s access to health care will impede the goal of making Virginia the best place to live, work, and run a business,’ he said in a statement. Advocates for the law had said it would underpin organizations that provide the widest range of services.” [Reuters]  North Carolina governor not completely devoid of powers: “North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) announced Tuesday he was dropping his state’s appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court over a 2013 voting bill that a federal appeals court called the most restrictive in the state ‘since the era of Jim Crow.’ Last year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit struck down a North Carolina bill that required residents to show photo ID at the polls, shortened early voting and eliminated same-day registration. The court ruled that the law intentionally discriminated against African Americans ‘with almost surgical precision.’ With days left in his administration, former Gov. Pat McCrory (R), whom Cooper defeated last year, appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court.” [HuffPost’s Samuel Levine]  JESUS RODE ON DINOSAURS, PT. 230,351,757 - That is, before he smote the dinosaurs so we could have fossil fuels. James Nord and Hannah Weikel: “South Dakota legislators are weighing whether to let teachers decide how much skepticism to work into lessons on contentious scientific topics such as evolution and climate change. A House committee on Wednesday is set to consider the measure, which would give legal protection to teachers who want to discuss ‘in an objective scientific manner the strengths and weaknesses’ of the subjects. South Dakota is one of at least three states, along with Texas and Oklahoma, considering such a bill. Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee have enacted similar laws, according to Glenn Branch, deputy director of the California-based National Center for Science Education, which opposes the proposal. Branch said there are concerns that such a bill would embolden some teachers to start presenting creationism in their classrooms.” [AP]  SERIOUS PIG FARMER PWNAGE - Assume Grassley town hall dead. Samuel Levine:”A pig farmer confronted Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) at a town hall meeting early Tuesday morning to warn that Republicans would essentially create a giant death panel if they repealed the Affordable Care Act. Chris Peterson, 62, told the senator that he has diabetes and that he would not be able to afford health insurance if not for the Affordable Care Act. ‘You’re the man that talks about the death panel,’ Peterson said at the packed town hall in Iowa Falls. ‘We’re gonna create one great big death panel in this country [if] people can’t afford to get insurance. Don’t repeal Obamacare, improve it.’” [HuffPost]  MILO OUT - Hey, Socrates was another Greek guy down with pedophilia, maybe he’s available. Michael Calderone: “Milo Yiannopoulos resigned Tuesday from Breitbart News, the right-wing nationalist site where he’s served as a senior editor and high-profile contributor…. He said it would be ‘wrong to allow my poor choice of words to detract from my colleagues’ important reporting’ and added that the decision to leave was his own. Yiannopoulos ― a conservative provocateur banned by Twitter and known for mocking Muslims, feminists, transgender people, the Black Lives Matter movement and liberal student activists ― seemed to have finally crossed a line Monday with a major publisher and a conservative organization that was giving him a platform. His apparent defense of sexual relationships between men and boys as young as 13 during an interview last year on the Drunken Peasants podcast began circulating recently and led to the quick unraveling of a career built on outrage and offensive behavior. “ [HuffPost]  BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s a wounded owl with a cast.  NICE TRY, NEW YORK CITY BULL - But no one escapes from all this hideousness until we all do. Ali Bauman: “The bull that was first spotted Tuesday morning on Lakewood Avenue near Sutphin and Archer in Jamaica has died. It escaped from a slaughterhouse on Jamaica Avenue…. After being captured alive, the bull was loaded into a trailer but sadly died en- route during transport to the Center for Animal Care and Control on Linden Blvd in Brooklyn.” [WCBS] COMFORT FOOD - This is why astronauts can’t get drunk in space.  - Alex Trebek reading rap lyrics. - UPS is getting in on the drone delivery game.  TWITTERAMA @Max_Fisher: 2015: i’ll just mute breitbart guy tweeting racial slurs at me2017: scrutinize internal breitbart politics to divine future of our nation  @electrolemon: you guys do not have a good case to say “his fake news claims are nuts” when you keep retweeting fake sally yates & “rogue govt” accounts  @Rossalincoln: This Milo thing has taught conservatives a valuable lesson: properly vet nazis to ensure they only heterosexually sexualize pubescent kids.  Got something to add? Send tips/quotes/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to Eliot Nelson ([email protected])   -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

21 февраля, 22:35

McMaster's takeaways: Don't lie, don't blame the media, don't rely on an inner circle

Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, the president's new national security adviser, knows a thing or two about standing up to the commander in chief and his political confidantes — and the potentially disastrous consequences when you don't.He literally wrote the book on it. The military's leading warrior-intellectual drew key lessons about the workings of the National Security Council from his exhaustive history of White House deliberations during the Vietnam War. They could come in handy as he takes the reins following the ignominious departure of President Donald Trump's first national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, and joins a White House similarly grappling with deep divisions in the country, public protests and open partisan warfare over Trump's most controversial policies, from immigration to Russia.The debacle that was Vietnam inflicted "one of the greatest political traumas" on the United States since the American Civil War, McMaster wrote in "Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies That Led to Vietnam," which was published in 1997 after he earned his doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill."It led Americans to question the integrity of their government."Even a quarter century after it ended, in his view, the shadow of the war — the 58,000 American lives lost , the billions of dollars spent, the social upheaval it caused — hung over American foreign and military policy and the nation itself.Here's a snapshot of some key insights that McMaster drew as a young Army officer from his recounting of the deliberations of the National Security Council and the internal workings of the military leadership at the time.Don't lieA primary theme of McMaster's book is how keeping information from the president that did not support his political aims became institutionalized. His secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, was mostly to blame, by not relaying the military's unvarnished advice to the commander in chief on how the war was going — or more to the point, wasn't going. "When the Chiefs' advice was not consistent with his own recommendations, McNamara, with the aid of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, lied in meetings of the National Security Council about the chief's views," McMaster wrote. Military leaders themselves should have known better, despite the fact, as McMaster explains, "the professional code of the military officer prohibits him or her from engaging in political activity."Instead, due to their loyalty to the president and desire to advocate for the prerogatives of their individual branches of the military, they played along. "The president was lying, and he expected the Chiefs to lie as well or, at least, to withhold the whole truth," McMaster wrote in the epilogue of "Dereliction of Duty." "Although the president should not have placed the Chiefs in that position, the flag officers should not have tolerated it when they had." Don't rely on a close-knit group of advisers.Another finding from the Vietnam era that eerily echoes today relates to the structure of the National Security Council itself, which McMaster found wanting — especially because it did not seek enough input from its full membership from various executive departments and agencies and because too often decisions were made by the president and a handful of his closest advisers. Trump, to the dismay of many longtime NSC veterans, elevated his top political strategist Steve Bannon as a permanent member of the council — a break with tradition that has sought to keep politics out of the national security decision-making process as much as possible. And in another unusual step, he has separately empowered his son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner with a foreign policy portfolio that includes the Middle East. The president also stipulated in a directive last month that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs have a lesser role on the NSC's so-called principals committee — at least on paper. "The PC shall have as its regular attendees the secretary of State, the secretary of the Treasury, the secretary of Defense, the attorney general, the secretary of Homeland Security, the assistant to the president and chief of staff, the assistant to the president and chief strategist, the national security adviser and the homeland security adviser," the directive stated. "The director of national intelligence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff shall attend where issues pertaining to their responsibilities and expertise are to be discussed."During the early years of the Vietnam War, the role of the Joint Chiefs chairman was also reduced — in practice if not in letter. "There was no meaningful structure through which the chiefs could voice their views — even the chairman [of the Joint Chiefs] was not a reliable conduit," McMaster wrote. "NSC meetings were strictly pro forma affairs in which the president endeavored to build consensus for decisions already made. President Johnson's practice was to meet with "small groups of his most trusted advisers.""Real planning," McMaster found, was made by "ad hoc committees composed principally of civilian analysts and attorneys."Don't blame the mediaPresident Trump has labeled the news media an "enemy of the American people" and has repeatedly sought to discredit the press as purveyors of "fake news." The media was a similar target during the Vietnam War, though not nearly as publicly as with Trump — when leading newspapers began reporting from Southeast Asia on developments that did not match with the rosier public pronouncements. Another scapegoat as the Vietnam War dragged on and public support plummeted was the throng of antiwar protesters that nearly paralyzed the nation in the late 1960s and early 1970s. McMaster said neither were culprits in the outcome of the war, despite political leaders' assertions to the contrary."The war in Vietnam was not lost in the field, nor was it lost on the pages of The New York Times or on the college campuses," he concluded. "It was lost in Washington, D.C."Personalities matterAnd by Washington, McMaster didn't mean some esoteric and lackluster bureaucracy or even a feckless Congress. He specifically meant the individuals who could have made a difference — the ones who had the president's ear."The disaster in Vietnam was not the result of impersonal forces but a uniquely human failure, the responsibility for which was shared by President Johnson and his principal military and civilian advisers," McMaster wrote. "The failings were many and reinforcing: arrogance, weakness, lying in pursuit of self-interest, and above all, the abdication of responsibility to the American people."

21 февраля, 22:09

National Security Council Spokesman Resigns Over Donald Trump's 'Disturbing' Actions

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); The spokesman for the National Security Council says President Donald Trump’s “disturbing” and repeated attempts to undermine the U.S. intelligence community prompted him to resign last week. In a scorching Washington Post column published Monday, Edward Price, who joined the CIA in 2006 and has been serving as the NSC spokesman, revealed the reasons he “cannot in good faith serve this administration as an intelligence professional.” Price pointed to several instances in which he said Trump had questioned the integrity of U.S. intelligence agencies, including the president’s tepid response to reports that Russia hacked U.S. officials in an attempt to influence the 2016 presidential election. But the “final straw,” he said, was Trump’s decision last month to make chief strategist Steve Bannon― whom Price calls “a media champion of white nationalism”― a member of the National Security Council. “[The White House] has little need for intelligence professionals who, in speaking truth to power, might challenge the so-called ‘America First’ orthodoxy that sees Russia as an ally and Australia as a punching bag,” Price wrote, echoing speculation over the administration’s ties to Russia and referencing a phone call last month in which Trump reportedly accused Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of sending terrorists to the U.S. “That’s why the president’s trusted White House advisers, not career professionals, reportedly have final say over what intelligence reaches his desk,” the veteran CIA analyst added. Trump has been increasingly at odds with the U.S. intelligence community. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that intelligence officials have withheld information from the president because they are concerned it could be leaked. Chaos surrounding the National Security Council has come to a head following retired Gen. Michael Flynn’s resignation as national security adviser earlier this month. Flynn announced his split from the White House after he admitted to having misled Vice President Mike Pence about conversations Flynn had with the Russian ambassador in December regarding U.S. sanctions against Russia. Trump’s first choice to succeed Flynn, Vice Adm. Robert Harward, reportedly rejected the offer last week after the president’s latest bizarre, unwieldy press conference. Trump announced Monday that Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster will serve as his new national security adviser. Read Price’s full op-ed in The Washington Post. type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related... + articlesList=58ab49d0e4b0a855d1d8bd43,5898f02ee4b040613138a951,589e07dde4b03df370d61db7 -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

21 февраля, 21:10

Трамп назначил нового советника по национальной безопасности

Президент США Дональд Трамп объявил, что пост его советника по национальной безопасности займет генерал Герберт Реймонд Макмастер, сообщает Reuters.

21 февраля, 19:26

For Trump, Generals Are Everywhere

Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com   If you’re going to surround yourself with generals in the Oval Office, as Donald Trump has done, that means one thing in these years: you’re going to appoint men whose careers were made (or unmade) by what was once known as the Global War on Terror.  They will be deeply associated with Washington’s 15 years of disastrous wars and conflicts in the Greater Middle East, which have left that region a set of failed or near-failed states and a hotbed of terror outfits, including various branches of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.  Secretary of Defense James “Mad Dog” Mattis, for instance, led troops in the initial post-invasion period in Afghanistan in 2001; in the taking of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, in 2003; in the fierce fighting for the city of Fallujah in 2004; and then, from 2010 to 2013, he was in charge of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), with responsibility for the Greater Middle East. In that post, he cooked up a scheme to take out either an Iranian oil refinery or power plant in the “dead of night,” an act of war meant to pay that country back for supplying mortars to Iraqi insurgents killing American troops. That plan, nixed by the Obama White House, seems to have played a role in his removal from the CENTCOM post five months early. General John Kelly, head of the Department of Homeland Security, also commanded troops and fought in Iraq.  (His son was killed in Afghanistan in 2010.)  Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn held key intelligence positions in both Afghanistan and Iraq, while his temporary replacement (and now National Security Council chief of staff), General Joseph “Keith” Kellogg, retired and working with private contractor Oracle at the time of the invasion of Iraq, was sent to Baghdad as chief operating officer of the Coalition Provisional Authority that the Bush administration set up to run its ill-fated occupation of that country.  He lasted only five months as that body began its “reconstruction” of Iraq, after disbanding Saddam’s army and so putting its officers and troops on the unemployment line, which meant at the disposal of the developing insurgency.  Army Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster, the new national security adviser, just tapped for the job by Trump, isn’t even retired and held command posts in both Iraq and Afghanistan. On the evidence of these last years, such experiences seem to have tied these men to the war against terror in a deep and visceral way, making any major reconsideration of what they had lived through inconceivable.  In the new Trump era, clues to this ongoing reality can already be found in two recent events: the first Trump-ordered action in the Greater Middle East, a thoroughly botched Special Operations raid in Yemen, which did not achieve its objective but got large numbers of civilians and one Navy SEAL killed and which, given the last 15 years of U.S. military action in the region, looked painfully familiar; and the request of the present U.S. Afghan commander, General John Nicholson Jr., for “several thousand” more American military advisers, one that it’s hard to imagine he would have made before the Senate Armed Services Committee without the agreement of Defense Secretary Mattis.  It’s also a request that was clearly meant as no more than an opening bid in a potentially far larger surge of American forces into Afghanistan.  (Where have you heard that before?) Under the circumstances, it’s good to know that, even if not at the highest ranks of the U.S. military, there are officers who have been able to take in what they experienced up close and personal in Iraq and Afghanistan and make some new ― not desperately old ― sense of it.  U.S. Army Major Danny Sjursen, a former history instructor at West Point and the author of Ghostriders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge, who writes his inaugural TomDispatch post today (“How We Got Here”), is obviously one of them and I doubt he’s alone in the American armed forces after all these years. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

21 февраля, 17:46

Richard Breslow: "How Much Central Bank Money Has Poured Into The S&P 500?"

Authored by Richard Breslow, a former FX trader and fund manager who writes for Bloomberg With the U.S. back from the long weekend, the week can start in earnest. The rest must have done some people good, because the feel of the market is a bit punchy as we start out of the gate. I’ve no strong explanation why other than it wasn’t entirely clear why things looked so squishy at the end of last week. Perhaps the natural desire to not carry a lot of risk over the holiday contributed to the moves. While, perhaps, also revealing people’s positioning at the same time. The moves today are nothing dramatic, to be sure. But the dollar feels all right, Treasuries seem comfortable having held the probe lower in yields, equities are equities, and even the Bloomberg commodity index is trying to take heart after finding support at its 55-day moving average. It’ll be interesting to see if this mood has any staying power, but for a trade, I’m using the levels we saw on Thursday and Friday as very short-term pivots. I don’t think this has anything to do with March being “live”. But until we get a piece of data that takes it off the table, it won’t hurt. Perhaps there’s some comfort taken that the embarrassment concerning the National Security Council has had a much better outcome than we expected before it all started. It may be the growing supposition that all this reported foreign central bank selling of Treasuries may be in large part a rotation into other securities rather than some rejection of the U.S. as a safe home for investment. U.S. high-grade spreads to Treasuries continue to narrow as if propelled by an insatiable appetite for exposure to this asset class. Reserve rotation may also explain the seemingly inexplicable performance of the equity market. How much central bank money has poured into the S&P 500? Maybe the G-20 should discuss the moral hazards of foreign governments picking publicly traded company winners and losers alongside currencies and trade restrictions. There’s no shortage of fickleness out there. I’m curious to see how this plays out.

21 февраля, 17:30

Former CIA Agent Explains Why He Resigned Because Of Trump

Edward Price worked at the CIA from 2006 until this month, most recently as the spokesman for the National Security Council. But, as he details below in a letter published by The Washington Post, he has officially resigned "to be clear, my decision had nothing to do with politics," seemingly because the Trump Administration is "tuning out the intelligence professionals." Nearly 15 years ago, I informed my skeptical father that I was pursuing a job with the Central Intelligence Agency. Among his many concerns was that others would never believe I had resigned from the agency when I sought my next job. “Once CIA, always CIA,” he said. But that didn’t give me pause. This wouldn’t be just my first real job, I thought then; it would be my career.   That changed when I formally resigned last week. Despite working proudly for Republican and Democratic presidents, I reluctantly concluded that I cannot in good faith serve this administration as an intelligence professional.   This was not a decision I made lightly. I sought out the CIA as a college student, convinced that it was the ideal place to serve my country and put an otherwise abstract international-relations degree to use. I wasn’t disappointed.   The CIA taught me new skills and exposed me to new cultures and countries. More important, it instilled in me a sense of mission and purpose. As an analyst, I became an expert in terrorist groups and traveled the world to help deter and disrupt attacks. The administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama took the CIA’s input seriously. There was no greater reward than having my analysis presented to the president and seeing it shape events. Intelligence informing policy — this is how the system is supposed to work. I saw that up close for the past three years at the White House, where I worked on loan from the CIA until last month.   As a candidate, Donald Trump’s rhetoric suggested that he intended to take a different approach. I watched in disbelief when, during the third presidential debate, Trump casually cast doubt on the high-confidence conclusion of our 17 intelligence agencies, released that month, that Russia was behind the hacking and release of election-related emails. On the campaign trail and even as president-elect, Trump routinely referred to the flawed 2002 assessment of Iraq’s weapons programs as proof that the CIA couldn’t be trusted — even though the intelligence community had long ago held itself to account for those mistakes and Trump himself supported the invasion of Iraq.   Trump’s actions in office have been even more disturbing. His visit to CIA headquarters on his first full day in office, an overture designed to repair relations, was undone by his ego and bluster. Standing in front of a memorial to the CIA’s fallen officers, he seemed to be addressing the cameras and reporters in the room, rather than the agency personnel in front of them, bragging about his inauguration crowd the previous day. Whether delusional or deceitful, these were not the remarks many of my former colleagues and I wanted to hear from our new commander in chief. I couldn’t help but reflect on the stark contrast between the bombast of the new president and the quiet dedication of a mentor — a courageous, dedicated professional — who is memorialized on that wall. I know others at CIA felt similarly.   The final straw came late last month, when the White House issued a directive reorganizing the National Security Council, on whose staff I served from 2014 until earlier this year. Missing from the NSC’s principals committee were the CIA director and the director of national intelligence. Added to the roster: the president’s chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, who cut his teeth as a media champion of white nationalism.   The public outcry led the administration to reverse course and name the CIA director an NSC principal, but the White House’s inclination was clear. It has little need for intelligence professionals who, in speaking truth to power, might challenge the so-called “America First” orthodoxy that sees Russia as an ally and Australia as a punching bag. That’s why the president’s trusted White House advisers, not career professionals, reportedly have final say over what intelligence reaches his desk.   To be clear, my decision had nothing to do with politics, and I would have been proud to again work under a Republican administration open to intelligence analysis. I served with conviction under President George W. Bush, some of whose policies I also found troubling, and I took part in programs that the Obama administration criticized and ended. As intelligence professionals, we’re taught to tune out politics. The river separating CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., from Washington might as well be a political moat. But this administration has flipped that dynamic on its head: The politicians are the ones tuning out the intelligence professionals.   The CIA will continue to serve important functions — including undertaking covert action and sharing information with close allies and partners around the globe. If this administration is serious about building trust with the intelligence community, however, it will require more than rallies at CIA headquarters or press statements. What intelligence professionals want most is to know that the fruits of their labor — sometimes at the risk of life or limb — are accorded due deference in the policymaking process.   Until that happens, President Trump and his team are doing another disservice to these dedicated men and women and the nation they proudly, if quietly, serve. But while Price vows that his resignation was not politically motivated, we find it curious that Federal Election Commission records indicate that he donated the legal maximum of $2,700 to "Hillary for America" in August 2016 and another $2,300 to the DNC's "Hillary Victory Fund" on the very same day.  But we're sure that doesn't mean anything. Nevertheless, perhaps President Trump has created an environment that cleanses itself...A self-'draining' swamp?

21 февраля, 17:23

Extinguishing Donald Trump’s Swedish Immigration 'Fire'

As a former intelligence officer, I am a major advocate of the maxim, “facts matter.”  As such, I often find myself cringing when listening to President Trump wax philosophically – and creatively – on any number of issues.  The most recent example of this are the president’s comments about Sweden, made during a rally before supporters held in Melbourne, Florida this pastSaturday.  “Here’s the bottom line,” the president said.  “We’ve got to keep our country safe.  You look at what’s happening in Germany.  You look at what’s happening last night in Sweden,” Trump said. “Sweden. Who would believe this? Sweden. They took in large numbers. They’re having problems like they never thought possible.  You look at what’s happening in Brussels. You look at what’s happening all over the world. Take a look at Nice. Take a look at Paris.” The president then transitioned into the heart of his message, which dealt with his controversial executive order on immigration.  “We’ve allowed thousands and thousands of people into our country, and there was no way to vet those people,” he said. “There was no documentation. There was no nothing. So we’re going to keep our country safe.” The media – in the United States, Sweden and elsewhere – immediately criticized the president’s words, ascribing meaning and intent in an effort to undermine the message and the man, building on a foundation of negative press regarding Trump’s stalled immigration order banning persons from seven Muslim countries from entering the United States for ninety days while a plan for implementing the president’s vision for “extreme vetting” could be formulated and implemented. “The comments appeared to refer to recent terror attacks in Germany and elsewhere, but no such attack has occurred in Sweden,” wrote Eric Bradner, of CNN. “Trump’s remark is the latest misplaced reference to a terrorist attack or incident by those in his White House. Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway inaccurately referred to a ‘Bowling Green massacre’ that never took place, and White House press secretary Sean Spicer referred to an attack in Atlanta, later clarifying that he meant to refer to Orlando.” Steve Benen, of MSNBC, had a similar take on Trump’s Swedish reference.  “Kellyanne Conway recently made repeated references to a ‘massacre’ at Bowling Green that never actually happened. Sean Spicer similarly pointed several times to a terrorist attack in Atlanta that didn’t occur. So perhaps it was inevitable that Donald Trump, fresh off his bizarre claims about U.S. murder rates that exist only in his imagination, would point to a Swedish incident with no basis in reality.” I actually believe Donald Trump did America, and the world, a favor in bringing up the issue of Swedish immigration. The British press was no less damning in its reporting.  “Donald Trump appeared to invent an attack on Sweden during a rally in Florida,” wrote The Telegraph, while the Guardian reported that, “Donald Trump appeared to invent a terrorist attack in Sweden during a campaign-style rally in Florida on Saturday.”  Even the Swedes jumped on the bandwagon, with Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom posting on Twitter an excerpt from Trump’s speech, noting that democracy and diplomacy “require us to respect science, facts and the media.”  Former Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt likewise tweeted, “Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking? Questions abound.” The problem with the bulk of the reporting on Trump’s comments was that it was, simply put, wrong.  Even the New York Times – no friend of Donald Trump – was compelled to admit that, “Mr. Trump did not state, per se, that a terrorist attack had taken place in Sweden. But the context of his remarks – he mentioned Sweden right after he chastised Germany, a destination for refugees and asylum seekers fleeing war and deprivation – suggested that he thought it might have.” If there was any doubt as to what President Trump was actually thinking (vice what reporters thought he was thinking), it was quickly put to rest by the president himself, who tweeted Sunday that, “My statement as to what’s happening in Sweden was in reference to a story that was broadcast on @FoxNews concerning immigrants & Sweden.” He followed that tweet with another on Monday, noting that, “Give the public a break - The FAKE NEWS media is trying to say that large scale immigration in Sweden is working out just beautifully. NOT!” The president, it seems, was watching an episode of Tucker Carlson’s evening news program, where Mr. Carlson interviewed a controversial right-wing Jewish documentary filmmaker, Ami Horowitz, who had finished a project on Sweden’s immigration policy.  Mr. Horowitz is a noted Islamophobe whose film seeks to label Sweden as a nation whose pro-immigration policies coddle Islamic terrorism.  His appearance on Tucker Carlson’s show was part and parcel of a trend of reporting by Fox News sympathetic to President Trump and his policies, and as such it should be a surprise to no one that Mr. Trump had been tuned in and watching as Carlson interviewed Horowitz. That President Trump gets some of his information from watching prime time news shows should neither shock nor surprise Americans who are similarly empowered by such information sources; after all, what is good for the goose should be good for the gander.  That the president chooses to publicly comment on this information without first vetting it – or, in the president’s own parlance, “extreme vetting” it – with the resources uniquely available to him, such as the State Department, the National Security Council, etc., is, at the very least, disturbing.   The president, whether he realizes it or not, speaks on behalf of an entire country, and not just that segment of society that supports him and his policies.  Even if Mr. Trump is personally sympathetic to the selective and self-serving reporting of Mr. Horowitz and Fox News, he should be assiduous in making sure that, as president, his words leave little open to suggestion by being as precise in fact and context as possible. The fact, however, that President Trump is, and was, not doing so should not come as a surprise to either the public or the media; he consistently campaigned in this fashion during his successful run for the White House, and his actions and words, in transition and during the first three weeks in office, have demonstrated little if any trend away from sustaining that behavior.  That President Trump and the media are currently engaged in a much publicized feud over their respective veracity is well known to all; neither side does itself any service by engaging in actions that only reinforces the talking points of the other side.  President Trump should be far more precise and accurate in his facts and commentary, period.  The media should likewise limit its reporting to those facts that the president has publicly committed to; Mr. Trump provides more than enough ammunition for fact-based reporters to stay gainfully employed without sinking to the artifice of discerning (i.e., manufacturing) “suggestion” and “intent” behind what the president says.  To behave otherwise is to demean the status and value of the Fourth Estate to the American people.  An enemy of the truth is, by extension, an enemy of the American people.  Both the president and the media should heed that simple fact, since their future credibility hangs on their perceived adherence to the same.  A viable democracy such as the United States requires fact-based debate, discussion and dialogue in order to sustain and further societal growth and health – a static society is a dying society.  It is in America’s interest to keep evolving as a nation, seeking new solutions to old problems, and to do so in a manner which encourages the frank and open participation by all citizens, whether others agree with them or not. In this light, I actually believe Donald Trump did America, and the world, a favor in bringing up the issue of Swedish immigration. The inability of the American (and international) media to help facilitate a responsible debate on the subject by reporting on perceived “suggestion” or “intent” behind the president’s words, vice the actual words themselves, however, has created a situation where the American people can’t see the forest for the trees.  It’s not that I agree with the president’s immigration policy – I don’t.  My wife and her family are immigrants (she is a naturalized citizen, her father a green card-carrying permanent resident), and our ability to interact with our extended family abroad is dependent on the freedom of movement between the United States and her native Republic of Georgia.  The Georgian Republic is, today, an ally of the United States, its population deeply Christian in religious orientation and as such largely immune to the limitations on immigration proposed by the president. While I do not share Ami Horowitz’s sweeping denunciation of Sweden’s experience with Muslim immigrants, I do have an opinion on the issue based upon first-hand experience. It isn’t the impact of the president’s proposed policy on a personal level that prompts my opposition, but rather the fact that families like my own will be adversely impacted simply because of geography or religion.  America has the ability and resources to deal with the issue of immigration with the precision of a surgeon, excising those who are shown to represent a threat to American security while allowing entry to those who don’t; in contrast, Trump’s proposed policy represents a hammer-like approach.  We can, and should, do better. The best solutions, however, come only once a problem has been properly defined, and here the problem revolves around both the practical methodologies involved in any vetting of immigrants, extreme or otherwise, and the public perception of the impact upon society that any surge of immigration might have.  While I do not share Ami Horowitz’s sweeping denunciation of Sweden’s experience with Muslim immigrants, I do have an opinion on the issue based upon first-hand experience.  In late 2007 I had the opportunity to attend a week-long advanced firefighting academy in Sweden, followed by a 72-hour operational “ride along” with Swedish firefighters in the city of Malmo, Sweden’s 3rd largest city with a population of 300,00 – 20 percent of whom are Muslim immigrants.  I spent a decade in the fire service, and had the opportunity to interact with firefighters from across the United States and around the world.  I’ve always viewed the fire service as the true barometer of a society; politicians can sweep inconvenient facts under the rug, while a population can coast through life, deaf, dumb and blind about the real problems that exist out of sight, out of mind.  Not so the firefighter (or, for that case, the police officer and emergency medical services.) These first responders know the truth (sometimes ugly) about the state of affairs in a given community.  Is there a heroin problem?  Ask the firefighter – he or she will be able to draw a map showing precisely where they respond to calls of that nature.  Firefighters know the parts of town that have been hit by unemployment, where medical insurance is non-existent, or where immigrant communities (both legal and otherwise) reside. If you spend some time in a firehouse, as I have, you get a very accurate readout of the pulse of the society they serve.  I was a Bernie Sanders supporter during the last election, but by September 2016 I was telling my friends that Donald Trump was going to win, not because I wanted him to, but because that was the feeling I was getting from the firehouses in the parts of America largely ignored by mainstream politicians – the rust belt of the northeast and Midwest America where support for Trump was directly related to the ills of society firefighters knew existed, and which were not being adequately addressed by the political powers that be. I never met a society more open-minded and tolerant of outsiders than the Swedes.  In Malmo, I was driven around the city by a succession of fire chiefs who proudly displayed the work being done by their municipality to receive and care for the large immigrant policy – primarily Muslim – that called the city home.  The front-line firefighters that I met and worked with shared the pride in their city, and Sweden’s policy of openness and inclusiveness, shown by their command, but balanced it with a healthy dose of skepticism born of first-hand experience with the ugly side of the immigrant experience.  I personally witnessed the reality of entire neighborhoods in the city where firefighters and police were not welcomed with open arms.  While not absolute “no go” zones (the Malmo firefighters, after all, responded to calls in these areas), these neighborhoods were “slow go” zones, meaning firefighters entered with caution.  Arson incidents in these immigrant neighborhoods were rampant – I responded to two during my stay, one of which was a school targeted for simply being secular.  The firefighters I rode with told of being pelted with rocks while responding to other emergency calls just a week before I arrived, and many times prior.  The firefighters spoke of the need for increased outreach to the immigrant community, including trying to recruit immigrants into the emergency response force, but noted that these efforts were stymied by the close-knit nature of many immigrant neighborhoods which made meaningful integration into Swedish society very difficult. My experience with the firefighters of Malmo in no way validates the reporting of Ami Horowitz, Fox News or any media outlet seeking to paint Sweden as a seething cauldron of Islamic fundamentalism operating in the heart of Europe.  What it does do, however, is underscore the reality that when a society undertakes to open its doors to large-scale immigration, there exists the potential for the kind of disruptive, sometimes violent experiences that occurred – and continue to occur – in Malmo – and throughout Sweden as a whole.  Rather than being dismissive of the Swedish experience, however, America would do well to reach out to the Swedes for their lessons learned, so that America can proactively address the problems and solutions already identified and acted on by the Swedes. “Sweden,” President Trump said. “Who would believe this? Sweden. They took in large numbers. They’re having problems like they never thought possible.”  But they also have solutions – just ask the firefighters of Malmo.  I did, and my eyes were opened. Let’s hope the president will, too, especially on the eve of the rollout of his newly revamped immigration policy. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

21 февраля, 16:50

США потратят 700 миллиардов на оборону

Обещания Трампа дать Америке больше кораблей и самолетов под угрозой. С большой долей вероятности Сенат заблокирует его громадный оборонный бюджет в 700 миллиардов долларов. Как поступит президент?

21 февраля, 16:10

Today in Trumpworld -- Feb. 21


21 февраля, 14:53

TRUMP to African American museum with Tim Scott, Carson and Ivanka -- BANNON, PRIEBUS and RUDDY break bread in Palm Beach -- KASICH to speak at Toner dinner -- KATIE PACKER engaged to RICH BEESON

Listen to Playbook in 90 Seconds http://bit.ly/2mhKhvL ... Subscribe on iTunes http://apple.co/2eX6Eay ... Visit the online home of Playbook http://politi.co/2f51JnfQUICK THOUGHT -- If it’s possible for President Donald Trump to have a drama-free week, this might be it. Congress is gone. He is being widely praised for tapping H.R. McMaster as national security advisor. There are no obvious pressure points on the horizon. It’s Tuesday. Let’s see how far we get. WHAT TRUMP IS DOING TODAY -- The president heads to the Museum of African American History and Culture with Housing and Urban Development Secretary nominee Ben Carson and his wife Candy, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Alveda Celeste King, Ivanka Trump, founding director of the museum Lonnie Bunch and secretary of the Smithsonian David Skorton.Good Tuesday morning. A DINNER YOU WISH YOU WERE INVITED TO -- White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy dined at Buccan in Palm Beach Sunday night. The trio, who were joined by two women, chatted for roughly three hours, per our source. Ruddy, you may recall, was until recently saying Priebus was in over his head and was to blame for some of Trump’s stumbles. Priebus and Bannon have been telling every journalist in town that yes, they do get along. ATTN. CAPITOL HILL -- "Trump Month Two: Talks on health care and on tax overhaul," by AP's Julie Pace: "White House chief of staff Reince Priebus told The Associated Press that he expects a health care plan to emerge in 'the first few days of March.' Pressed on whether the plan would be coming from the White House, Priebus said, 'We don't work in a vacuum.' On Sunday, White House advisers held a three-hour meeting on health care at Trump's South Florida club, their third lengthy discussion on the topic in four days. Gary Cohn, the former Goldman Sachs banker now serving as Trump's top economic adviser, and newly sworn in Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin have been leading talks with Republican lawmakers and business leaders on taxes. Neither man has prior government experience. ... "One of the biggest questions on Capitol Hill is how involved Trump plans to be in legislative minutia. One GOP leadership aide whose office has been working with the White House described the president as a 'big picture guy' and said he expected Trump to defer to Capitol Hill on health care in particular. The aide was not authorized to speak publicly and insisted on anonymity. Priebus said he expects Congress to pass both a tax package and legislation repealing and replacing Obama's health care law by the end of the year. But the White House's outward confidence belies major roadblocks on both matters." http://strib.mn/2kHcTCd -- KEEPING TRACK: The White House says they will release a replacement to Obamacare, a tax plan and a 2018 budget in the next few weeks. GET SMART FAST -- KNOWING H.R. MCMASTER -- “Trump’s new warrior-scholar,” by Austin Wright and Jeremy Herb: “President Donald Trump has picked one of the military’s leading warrior-scholars to restore order to the National Security Council -- but also one who has staked out a decidedly more hawkish position on Russia and gone out of his way to assert that the war against terrorism must not morph into a war against Islam. Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, Trump's newly named replacement for ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, is considered one of the Army’s top intellectuals. When he was a young major he published a best-selling book about failed military leadership during the Vietnam War and later went on to help pioneer counterinsurgency operations in Iraq.“The first active-duty officer to hold the post since Colin Powell under President Ronald Reagan, he has also attained legendary status in military circles for his willingness to buck conventional wisdom. It is a pedigree that might soon come in handy in his new post as the top national security policy official in the Trump White House. McMaster is currently the director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center, where his job has been to figure out what the Army should look like in 2025 and beyond. He has placed particular emphasis on preparing to counter the kind of tactics and weapons that Russia, which he considers a rising threat to global stability, has used in its incursion in Ukraine. This emphasis could put him at odds with Trump, who says he wants to improve relations with Russia and has expressed little concern about its aggressive behaviors in Eastern Europe and contends that Vladimir Putin can be bargained with. But McMaster’s views will likely help build bridges with hawks in Congress who have been some of Trump’s fiercest Republican critics.” http://politi.co/2l2GOkC-- BACK STORY -- Matt Nussbaum: “McMaster wasn’t on the White House’s radar for the job until Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), increasingly a trusted foreign policy voice within the White House, called Steve Bannon, Jared Kushner and Reince Priebus early last week and urged them to consider the former combat general, who served in both Iraq wars and in Afghanistan. Cotton’s staffers then helped facilitate contact between McMaster and the White House. On Thursday, Cotton received word in a text message from one senior White House staffer that McMaster was on the short list. The senator, a former Army captain who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, has long admired the general from afar, according to a source close to Cotton. He even submitted his resignation papers to the Army in 2007 partly because they passed over H.R. McMaster for a promotion to 1-star general, this person said. (Cotton later rescinded the resignation to deploy to Afghanistan.)” http://politi.co/2kTx2Aq -- FLASHBACK -- H. R. McMASTER in the NYT, July 20, 2013, “The Pipe Dream of Easy War”: “Over time, American forces learned that an appreciation of the fears, interests and sense of honor among Afghanistan’s and Iraq’s citizens was critical to breaking cycles of violence and helping to move their communities toward making political accommodations that isolated extremists.” http://nyti.ms/2kTRlxC TOP TWEETS -- @BraddJaffy: “H.R. McMaster’s ‘Dereliction of Duty’ is the #1 best seller on Amazon” http://amzn.to/2lhWItV … Obama alum @JaredCohen: “HR McMaster as National Security Advisor is a fantastic appointment. He is a brilliant strategist and thinker.” … @BillKristol: “I say this honestly and non-snarkily: I can’t imagine anyone better prepared for the challenges of being Trump’s NSA than H.R. McMaster.” … @strobetalbott: “McMaster has a stellar reputation. With Tillerson, Mattis, & superb Intel Community - with POTUS’s support - he can help get back on track.” … Manu Raju (@mkraju): “McCain praises McMaster appointment. ‘I could not imagine a better, more capable national security team than the one we have right now.’”CABINET WATCH -- “Trump’s nominees gripe the White House isn’t protecting them,” by Tara Palmeri and Andrew Restuccia: “Candidates for top jobs in President Donald Trump’s administration are getting spooked after Andrew Puzder’s nomination was scuttled and they fear the White House isn't doing enough to protect them from grueling confirmations, according to several sources involved in the process. The concerns are affecting not only some of the highest profile nominations, including agriculture secretary pick Sonny Perdue, but also candidates for ambassadorships, judicial positions and a range of other nominees. The chill that’s settled in even has some people considering bowing out of contention, meaning that Trump’s attempt to quickly fill out his government could drag out even further.” http://politi.co/2kU6bUOTHE JUICE … -- OHIO GOV. JOHN KASICH will speak at the Robin Toner Award Dinner on March 27. President Barack Obama spoke last year. The Toner Award -- named for the late NYT chief political correspondent Robin Toner -- will be awarded at the dinner. ... KASICH is also meeting with Trump Friday, CNN is reporting. http://cnn.it/2m3lLlV -- SCOOP: ADO MACHIDA, former director of policy implementation for the Trump transition, is returning to the lobbying firm Navigators Global. Machida, who will lead the firm’s issues management practice, joins another Trump alum, Andy Keiser, at Navigators. Before the transition, Machida was president of the International Stability Operations Association and a VP of government relations at BAE Systems.-- FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: At noon today, Dr. Jill Biden will officially become chair of Save the Children’s board of trustees. She is taking over for Anne Mulcahy, the former CEO of Xerox, who was chair since 2010.-- TRUMP WAS PLAYING GOLF! We apologized yesterday for saying Trump was playing golf Sunday when it wasn’t entirely clear what he was doing at the course. But Trump was on the links -- and was joined by Rory McIlroy, the four-time major winner, and Paul O’Neill, the former New York Yankee. Story by CNN’s Dan Merica http://cnn.it/2kUbzHt … Pic of Trump and his golf buddies http://bit.ly/2lqloPrTEXAS BORDER ADVENTURES -- “Cornyn brings delegation from Washington to RGV,” by the McAllen Monitor’s Mitchell Ferman: “A group of six U.S. senators and congressmen huddled with McAllen Mayor Jim Darling upon arriving at Anzalduas Park overlooking the Rio Grande. Two days ago, Sen. Ted Cruz was here. The Congressional Border Caucus is also here and U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, along with his own delegation, is scheduled to have a day-long tour on Wednesday. … The group was led by Texas Sen. John Cornyn, with Sens. Dean Heller, R-Nev., and [North Carolina Sen. Thom] Tillis, along with U.S. Reps. John Carter, R-Round Rock, Mike Conaway, R-Midland, and David Rouzer, R-N.C.” http://bit.ly/2lhSjaj -- VIDEO of Paul Ryan getting off a private jet in Corpus Christi. http://bit.ly/2lBAl3bVALLEY TALK -- “Uber hires Eric Holder to investigate sexual harassment claims,” by WaPo’s Steven Overly: “Uber has hired former U.S. attorney general Eric Holder to help lead an investigation into claims of sexual harassment and discrimination that a former female employee made public over the weekend in a highly circulated blog post. CEO Travis Kalanick told employees in a memo Monday that the review will be conducted in ‘short order’ and that it will involve, among others, the participation of Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post and an Uber board member, and Liane Hornsey, the company’s recently hired human resources chief.“Susan Fowler Rigetti wrote that during her year working as an engineer at Uber she and other female staffers reported multiple instances of sexual harassment and discrimination to the company’s human resources department. Rigetti wrote that soon after starting at the company she received messages from a manager stating he was in an ‘open relationship’ and that he made advances toward her. When she reported the incident to human resources, Rigetti wrote, she was told it was the manager’s first offense and she was advised to transfer teams. Rigetti writes that she later learned other women had also complained about the same manager. ‘It was such a blatant lie that there was really nothing I could do. There was nothing any of us could do. We all gave up on Uber HR and our managers after that,’ wrote Rigetti, who now works for online payment firm Stripe, according to her LinkedIn profile.” http://wapo.st/2m7mUFT … Rigetti’s blog post http://bit.ly/2lBTJNu ... Travis Kalanick’s letter to Uber employees http://politi.co/2m7q3Wi HILLWATCH -- “In Trump’s future looms a familiar shutdown threat,” by AP’s Andy Taylor: “Add a potential government shutdown to embattled President Donald Trump's growing roster of headaches. Beneath the capital's radar looms a vexing problem — a catchall spending package that’s likely to top $1 trillion and could get embroiled in the politics of building Trump’s wall at the U.S.-Mexico border and a budget-busting Pentagon request. While a shutdown deadline has a few weeks to go, the huge measure looms as an unpleasant reality check for Trump and Republicans controlling Congress.” http://apne.ws/2kGUHsG-- “Court fight follows Democrats home,” by Burgess Everett: “Conservatives are aggressively ramping up their campaign to confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court this week, using a rare congressional recess to needle vulnerable Senate Democrats into supporting President Donald Trump’s high court nominee. A bloc of right-leaning groups are organizing events around the country to help Gorsuch get confirmed, organizers said. The Judicial Crisis Network has arranged events aimed squarely at vulnerable Senate Democrats up for reelection in 2018 in red and purple states: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Indiana, Montana, Michigan, Florida, Missouri and West Virginia.” http://politi.co/2kTTfhG -- “Georgia special election shapes up as referendum on Trump,” by AP’s Bill Barrow in Atlanta: “The scramble to succeed Health Secretary Tom Price as Georgia congressman may quickly become a referendum on the popularity and agenda of Price’s new boss, President Donald Trump, while offering a preview of 2018’s midterm elections. Democrats are looking for an upset in the GOP-leaning district where Trump underperformed among the affluent, well-educated residents of the northern Atlanta suburbs. Trump narrowly topped Democrat Hillary Clinton, but fell shy of a majority even as Price cruised to re-election with more than 60 percent of the vote. It’s a dynamic Democrats must capitalize on around the country if they hope to reclaim a House majority next year, and it leaves a wide-open Republican field in Georgia to decide whether to run alongside the president or establish some independence from a White House off to a rocky start.“It could pose a particular challenge for one potential candidate, Price’s wife Betty, who now serves in the Georgia General Assembly. Adding to the mix is a quirk of Georgia election law that makes special congressional elections a ‘jungle primary’ with all candidates on the same ballot, regardless of party. If no candidate wins a majority on April 18, the top two finishers -- again regardless of party -- would advance to a second ballot set for June 20.” http://apne.ws/2kUtZYx SCARY -- WAPO: “Jewish cemetery vandalized. Jewish centers threatened. ADL calls on Trump to ‘step forward’” http://wapo.st/2lBEUdR [email protected]: “America is a nation built on the principle of religious tolerance. We must protect our houses of worship & religious centers. #JCC”THE CPAC DUSTUP -- “CPAC rescinds Yiannopoulos invitation amid social media uproar,” by WaPo’s David Weigel and Bob Costa: “The organizers of this week’s Conservative Political Action Conference rescinded their booking of Breitbart Editor Milo Yiannopoulos on Monday, following an outcry after the right-wing speaker’s critics resurfaced videos of him criticizing age-of-consent laws and joking about a teenage sexual encounter he had with a Catholic priest. ... [American Conservative Union chairman] Matt Schlapp [said]: ‘We realize that Mr. Yiannopoulos has responded on Facebook, but it is insufficient. It is up to him to answer the tough questions and we urge him to immediately further address these disturbing comments.’ By late Monday afternoon, there were ongoing discussions at Breitbart about Yiannopoulos’s future at the company ... Inside the newsroom, several staffers made clear to senior leadership that they felt uncomfortable and may decide to leave if he stays, the people said. There was also an aggressive liberal campaign to get advertisers to quit Breitbart News.” http://wapo.st/2kGTMbs … Milo’s statement on Facebook yesterday http://bit.ly/2lq7nRL -- NYT’S JEREMY PETERS, ALEXANDRA ALTER AND MIKE GRYNBAUM: “Until now, Mr. Yiannopoulos, a fervent supporter of President Trump, had emerged as something of a hero to many on the right, who saw in him an eager and willing combatant against a culture they believed was too politically correct. He became a star at Breitbart, the hard-right news outlet, and earned the admiration of Stephen K. Bannon, who was its publisher before becoming Mr. Trump’s chief White House strategist. Mr. Yiannopoulos was just getting a foothold in the media. He recently appeared on the comedian Bill Maher’s HBO talk show, and aggressively taunted liberals without much pushback from the host. His book ‘Dangerous,’ a free-speech manifesto and memoir that he sold in December to Threshold Editions, a conservative imprint within Simon & Schuster, had shot to the top of Amazon’s best-seller list, based on advance orders. The publisher had encountered mounting criticism of its relationship with Mr. Yiannopoulos. The author Roxane Gay withdrew from her contract for a book with a Simon & Schuster imprint in protest. …“But in a terse statement late Monday, the publisher said it was canceling the book ‘after careful consideration.’ In a statement released through his agent, Mr. Yiannopoulos said: ‘The people whose views, concerns and fears I am articulating do not sip white wine and munch canapés in gilded salons. And they will not be defeated by the cocktail set running New York publishing. Nor will I.’ The decision is likely to be a costly one for Simon & Schuster, which may not be able to recover the portion of the reported $250,000 advance it had already paid to Mr. Yiannopoulos. ‘Dangerous’ had sold just under 50,000 copies, according to his literary agent, Thomas Flannery Jr., who said he planned to find another publisher.” http://nyti.ms/2lq3SKR … Video of Bill Maher’s Milo interview on Friday http://bit.ly/2kGUdCG … http://bit.ly/2lBQKVb FOR YOUR RADAR -- “Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Dies Suddenly: Career diplomat was struck down by a heart attack the day before his 65th birthday,” by WSJ’s Farnaz Fassihi. http://on.wsj.com/2kH0s9J TRUMP WORLD -- KNOWING DON MCGAHN -- “‘He’s Going to Be an Enabler’,” by Nancy Cook: “When Don McGahn first arrived at the Federal Election Commission in July 2008 as a shaggy haired, guitar-playing campaign finance lawyer, his casual appearance masked his carefully crafted plans for the sleepy agency charged with regulating campaign finance. As a new commissioner, McGahn—now President Donald Trump’s top White House lawyer—quickly consolidated power. He persuaded the two other Republican commissioners to vote in lockstep with him, essentially deadlocking the agency’s decision-making. And he ostracized two of the FEC’s Democratic commissioners so much that they rarely spoke to the Republicans. McGahn once grew so irritated with one Democrat that he ripped out pages of a rule book and threw them at her during a meeting. He aggressively questioned and sometimes belittled career staffers and attorneys, according to 10 former FEC officials and staffers; the general counsel, the agency’s top staff lawyer, quit after McGahn tried to curb the power of the legal staff.” http://politi.co/2kU6XkD-- SEBASTIAN GORKA PROFILES -- “For a Trump adviser, an odyssey from the fringes of Washington to the center of power,” by WaPo’s Greg Jaffe: “For years, Gorka had labored on the fringes of Washington and the far edge of acceptable debate as defined by the city’s Republican and Democratic foreign policy elite. Today, the former national security editor for the conservative Breitbart News outlet occupies a senior job in the White House and his controversial ideas — especially about Islam — drive Trump’s populist approach to counterterrorism and national security. Amid the cheering, music and confetti that night, Gorka talked about Trump’s opening shot in a high-stakes civilizational war, still in its early days. ‘Everything’s changed,’ Gorka said.” http://wapo.st/2m35Kwo -- “Conservative Pundit Sebastian Gorka Brings ‘Global Jihadist Movement’ Theory Into White House,” by WSJ’s Shane Harris: “Mr. Gorka is a theatrical public speaker, and his plummy baritone can fill a room. ‘He’s a showman,’ said one expert who has worked with him. Rather than stand at a lectern, he has been known to move up and down the aisles in large auditoriums. But his rhetorical flare masks a shallow grasp of his subject matter, some critics say.” http://on.wsj.com/2kGSeOX HMM -- “Trump Administration Considers Change in Calculating U.S. Trade Deficit,” by WSJ’s Will Mauldin and Devlin Barrett: “The Trump administration is considering changing the way it calculates U.S. trade deficits, a shift that would make the country’s trade gap appear larger than it had in past years, according to people involved in the discussions. The leading idea under consideration would exclude from U.S. exports any goods first imported into the country, such as cars, and then transferred to a third country like Canada or Mexico unchanged ... Economists say that approach would inflate trade deficit numbers because it would typically count goods as imports when they come into the country but not count the same goods when they go back out, known as re-exports. ... Several economists interviewed by the Journal were uneasy with fully excluding re-exports from exports but not imports.” http://on.wsj.com/2m7avlm WITHER CAMP DAVID? -- “Mar-a-Lago 3, Camp David 0. With Trump as president, is the rustic Md. retreat doomed?” by WaPo’s Michael Rosenwald in Thurmont, Maryland: “Trump’s Florida compound and his other gold-laden properties have been top of mind lately in Thurmont, where just a few miles up a winding mountain road presidents have vacationed and cajoled world leaders at Camp David -- deep in the woods, in cozy cabins, a total anathema to Trump. ‘Camp David is very rustic, it’s nice, you’d like it,’ Trump said in an interview with a European journalist just before taking office. ‘You know how long you’d like it? For about 30 minutes.’ White House officials have not said whether Trump plans to use Camp David or, if not, whether he would close the Navy-run facility, which in recent years has cost taxpayers about $8 million a year to operate. Although local officials hope he will visit, they have been given no signals he will, raising concern about the financial and symbolic costs of the president’s getaway tastes.” http://wapo.st/2mhlSGv THE HILLARY BEAT -- “Hillary Clinton’s in the House: For Broadway audiences, she’s become a familiar sight -- and another reason to applaud,” by NYT’s Michael Paulson: “In many ways she is the typical Broadway audience member: a woman of a certain age, affluent and highly educated, living in suburban New York. But there’s one big difference: She was almost president of the United States. In the weeks since losing the election, Hillary Clinton has gone to four Broadway shows -- often enough that industry wags joke about making her a Tony voter. And she’s even been spotted at theater district haunts — last week, just before seeing a revival of ‘Sunset Boulevard,’ she had dinner at Orso with Kate McKinnon ... At each theater appearance, Mrs. Clinton is greeted as a vanquished hero -- standing ovations, selfies, shouted adulation.” http://nyti.ms/2m376XY MAYOR OF THE WORLD -- “Bloomberg-backed group launches new immigration push under Trump,” by Seung Min Kim: “The Partnership for a New American Economy, the advocacy group led by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has recruited a number of congressional Republicans and Democrats to headline events promoting immigration across the country. … [T]he Bloomberg group has ... brought on a number of GOP lawmakers who haven’t so far been marquee names in the immigration battle, including several from agriculture-heavy states: Oklahoma Reps. Frank Lucas and Steve Russell, and Georgia Reps. Doug Collins, Austin Scott and Drew Ferguson. ... About 100 events will be held nationwide during recess, primarily in conservative and swing districts and states.” http://politi.co/2kUg199 … Map of the events http://bit.ly/2lHjXyr WEST COAST WATCH -- “Half the candidates in L.A.’s latest congressional race have their own immigrant story. With Trump, this contest is personal,” by LA Times’ Christine Mai-Due: “Of the 23 candidates who will appear on the ballot in the first congressional primary since the election of President Trump, two are immigrants and 11 are the children of immigrants. Whoever wins the seat previously held by state Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra will be serving under a president who has moved to block refugees, vowed to build a massive border wall and threatened to deport millions of immigrants who are in the country illegally. For them and many in this district, where two-thirds of residents are Latino and nearly half were born in other countries, the election is personal and expectations for the winner are high.” http://lat.ms/2kU95ZR-- “With Snap’s I.P.O., Los Angeles Prepares to Embrace New Tech Millionaires,” by NYT’s Katie Benner in Los Angeles. http://nyti.ms/2mhvzow TOP-ED – NED PRICE in WaPo, “I didn’t think I’d ever leave the CIA. But because of Trump, I quit”: “If this administration is serious about building trust with the intelligence community, however, it will require more than rallies at CIA headquarters or press statements. What intelligence professionals want most is to know that the fruits of their labor — sometimes at the risk of life or limb — are accorded due deference in the policymaking process. Until that happens, President Trump and his team are doing another disservice to these dedicated men and women and the nation they proudly, if quietly, serve.” http://wapo.st/2kTWqpJ MEDIAWATCH -- Fox News Channel is airing a live town hall, “The First 100 Days,” hosted by Martha MacCallum, tonight at 7 p.m. The town hall is airing from Jacksonville, Florida, and focuses on immigration. The Orlando Sentinel’s preview http://bit.ly/2l2Itqt CLICKERS -- NYT: “Who Are the Richest of the Rich?: There are 2,473 billionaires in the world by a new count, and how they got their money and what they plan to do with it are matters of global importance” http://nyti.ms/2kUc8B4 … “Where the World’s Wealthiest Invest Their Billions” http://nyti.ms/2lH9cweENGAGED -- Katie Packer, a partner at Burning Glass Consulting, got engaged on Monday night to Rich Beeson, partner at FLS Connect. They’ve known each other for years and were both deputy campaign managers for Romney/Ryan 2012. He proposed on a boat just off Cooper Island in the British Virgin Islands. Pics http://bit.ly/2m7mOya ... http://bit.ly/2lq4NeD -- "Special Report with Bret Baier" booking producer ASHLEY KOERBER is engaged to Rob Moir. He proposed in front of the Capitol, where the couple had their first kiss. Pic http://bit.ly/2lH48beSPOTTED -- Former Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) eating seafood and steak at Tadich Grill on Pennsylvania Avenue Monday night … Katie McGinty, who lost her race for the U.S. Senate from Pennsylvania, walking into Shophouse on Dupont Circle Monday. She looked at the menu, then left … Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) on Monday night at the Hotel Adlon Kempinski next to the Brandenburg Gate and U.S. Embassy in Berlin (h/t @EuropeAdvisor)TRANSITIONS -- FIRST IN PLAYBOOK -- Convergence Media has added 3 new hires: Tom Newhouse, Ben Miller and Kate Constantini. Newhouse, most recently the NRCC digital director, will be VP of digital marketing. Miller, previously the director of public affairs for Generation Opportunity, will be VP of production and Constantini, most recently the NRCC’s deputy press secretary, will be communications strategist and operations manager. The firm will also be partnering with Cara Mason, founder of Mason Strategies and former RNC and Trump Victory finance director. BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Kevin Sheridan, founder of Sheridan Media Group and a Romney-Ryan and RNC alum – he’s celebrating by working today and heading to south Florida this weekend with his girlfriend and having Cuban dinner at Versailles” -- read his Playbook Plus Q&A: http://politi.co/2m3pQqjBIRTHDAYS: AP’s Mark Smith, who has been at the wire since 1975, except for 5 months at CNN in 1981 ... Bob Sherman (Jake, Corey and Kate’s dad) … Whitney Majorsky ... Jeremy Gaines, managing director at Burson-Marsteller and alum of Tegna, Clinton and MSNBC alum ... David Sherzer (h/t Peter Watkins) ... Kristie Greco ... Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) is 77 ... Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.) is 53 ... Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.) is 47 ... former Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) is 7-0 ... former Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.) is 61 ... former Rep. Phil Hare (D-Ill.) is 68 ... Tricia Nixon Cox is 71 ... film/music company executive David Geffen is 74 ... Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, who has been prime minister or president for 37 years, is 93 ... Stan Collender, Qorvis’ EVP and national director of financial comms. … Mark Kelly, former astronaut, husband of Gabby Giffords, and co-founder of Americans for Responsible Solutions, and his twin brother Scott ... Ryan Rudominer of R2 Strategic Consulting, a DCCC alum, is 39 ... Reuters’ Ross Colvin … Elise Lewis, Director of Media Optimization at Deep Root Analytics is 28 (h/t Jarrett) ... Rodney Kazibwe, staffer for Sen. Schumer, is 25 (h/t Louis York) ...... Paul Teller, special assistant to the president for leg affairs, former chief of staff to Sen. Ted Cruz, and proud Duke grad ... Rebeccah Propp, who recently joined the Trump administration on Vice President Pence’s staff ... Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget ... James Callan ... Ashley Etienne, alum of Obama WH and Pelosi ... Politico alums Terry Mulcahy and NanHee Kim ... Mitchell Delk, longtime lobbyist and GOP fundraiser ... Katherine Getty, the NRCC’s PAC special events and projects manager ... Karl Frisch, executive director of Allied Progress who played a big role in derailing Andy Puzder’s nomination, is 39 (h/t Mike Czin) ... Beth Viola, senior policy advisor at Holland & Knight who co-chairs the firm’s Energy Team and is a Clinton/Gore alum (h/t Jon Haber) ... Beth Adelson, former press secretary for Sen. Warner ... AFP’s Paul Raymond, a McClatchy alum ... Elise Kelly … Stephen Smith, managing director of Purple Digital at Purple Strategies ... Joyce Wolf ... Jeong Lee ... Ivan Villegas … Shawn Reinschmiedt ... Michelle Cordero, managing editor of Heritage.org … Bob Chlopack ... Nicole Rowe ... Karen Kapler (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) ... fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy is 9-0 ... Kelsey Grammer is 62 ... Jennifer Love Hewitt is 38 ... Jordan Peele is 38 ... actress Ellen Page is 3-0 (h/ts AP)

21 февраля, 10:25

Трамп выбрал советника по нацбезопасности: кто он?

Президент США Дональд Трамп объявил, что пост его советника по национальной безопасности займет генерал Герберт Реймонд Макмастер.

21 февраля, 10:25

Трамп выбрал советника по нацбезопасности: кто он?

Президент США Дональд Трамп объявил, что пост его советника по национальной безопасности займет генерал Герберт Реймонд Макмастер.

21 февраля, 06:00

Stockman Warns Trump "Flynn's Gone But They're Still Gunning For You, Donald"

Submitted by David Stockman via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity, General Flynn's tenure in the White House was only slightly longer than that of President-elect William Henry Harrison in 1841.  Actually, with just 24 days in the White House, General Flynn's tenure fell a tad short of old "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too".  General Harrison actually lasted 31 days before getting felled by pneumonia. And the circumstances were considerably more benign. It seems that General Harrison had a fondness for the same "firewater" that agitated the native Americans he slaughtered at the famous battle memorialized in his campaign slogan. In fact, during the campaign a leading Democrat newspaper skewered the old general, who at 68 was the oldest US President prior to Ronald Reagan, saying: Give him a barrel of hard [alcoholic] cider, and… a pension of two thousand [dollars] a year… and… he will sit the remainder of his days in his log cabin. That might have been a good idea back then (or even now), but to prove he wasn't infirm, Harrison gave the longest inaugural address in US history (2 hours) in the midst of seriously inclement weather wearing neither hat nor coat. That's how he got pneumonia! Call it foolhardy, but that was nothing compared to that exhibited by Donald Trump's former national security advisor. General Flynn got the equivalent of political pneumonia by talking for hours during the transition to international leaders, including Russia's ambassador to the US, on phone lines which were bugged by the CIA. Or more accurately, making calls which were "intercepted" by the very same NSA/FBI spy machinery that monitors every single phone call made in America. Ironically, we learned what Flynn should have known about the Deep State's plenary surveillance from Edward Snowden. Alas, Flynn and Trump wanted the latter to be hung in the public square as a "traitor", but if that's the solution to intelligence community leaks, the Donald is now going to need his own rope factory to deal with the flood of traitorous disclosures directed against him. In any event, it was "intercepts" leaked from deep in the bowels of the CIA to the Washington Post and then amplified in a 24/7 campaign by the War Channel (CNN) that brought General Flynn down. But here's the thing. They were aiming at Donald J. Trump. And for all of his puffed up bluster about being the savviest negotiator on the planet, the Donald walked right into their trap, as we shall amplify momentarily. But let's first make the essence of the matter absolutely clear. The whole Flynn imbroglio is not about a violation of the Logan Act owing to the fact that the general engaged in diplomacy as a private citizen. It's about re-litigating the 2016 election based on the hideous lie that Trump stole it with the help of Vladimir Putin. In fact, Nancy Pelosi was quick to say just that: 'The American people deserve to know the full extent of Russia's financial, personal and political grip on President Trump and what that means for our national security,' House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a press release. Yet, we should rephrase. The re-litigation aspect reaches back to the Republican primaries, too. The Senate GOP clowns who want a war with practically everybody, John McCain and Lindsey Graham, are already launching their own investigation from the Senate Armed Services committee. And Senator Graham, the member of the boobsey twins who ran for President in 2016 while getting a GOP primary vote from virtually nobody,  made clear that General Flynn's real sin was a potential peace overture to the Russians: Sen. Lindsey Graham also said he wants an investigation into Flynn's conversations with a Russian ambassador about sanctions: "I think Congress needs to be informed of what actually Gen. Flynn said to the Russian ambassador about lifting sanctions," the South Carolina Republican told CNN's Kate Bolduan on "At This Hour. And I want to know, did Gen. Flynn do this by himself or was he directed by somebody to do it?" We say good riddance to Flynn, of course, because he was a shrill anti-Iranian warmonger. But let's also not be fooled by the clinical term at the heart of the story. That is, "intercepts" mean that the Deep State taps the phone calls of the President's own closest advisors as a matter of course. This is the real scandal as Trump himself has rightly asserted. The very idea that the already announced #1 national security advisor to a President-elect should be subject to old-fashion "bugging," albeit with modern day technology, overwhelmingly trumps the utterly specious Logan Act charge at the center of the case. As one writer for LawNewz noted regarding acting Attorney General Sally Yates' voyeuristic pre-occupation with Flynn's intercepted conversations, Nixon should be rolling in his grave with envy: Now, information leaks that Sally Yates knew about surveillance being conducted against potential members of the Trump administration, and disclosed that information to others. Even Richard Nixon didn’t use the government agencies themselves to do his black bag surveillance operations. Sally Yates involvement with this surveillance on American political opponents, and possibly the leaking related thereto, smacks of a return to Hoover-style tactics. As writers at Bloomberg and The Week both noted, it wreaks of 'police-state' style tactics. But knowing dear Sally as I do, it comes as no surprise. Yes, that's the same career apparatchik of the permanent government that Obama left behind to continue the 2016 election by other means. And it's working. The Donald is being rapidly emasculated by the powers that be in the Imperial City due to what can only be described as an audacious and self-evident attack on Trump's Presidency by the Deep State. Indeed, it seems that the layers of intrigue have gotten so deep and convoluted that the nominal leadership of the permanent  government machinery has lost track of who is spying on whom. Thus, we have the following curious utterance by none other than the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes: 'I expect for the FBI to tell me what is going on, and they better have a good answer,' he told The Washington Post. 'The big problem I see here is that you have an American citizen who had his phone calls recorded.' Well, yes. That makes 324 million of us, Congressman. But for crying out loud, surely the oh so self-important chairman of the House intelligence committee knows that everybody is bugged. But when it reaches the point that the spy state is essentially using its unconstitutional tools to engage in what amounts to "opposition research" with the aim of election nullification, then the Imperial City has become a clear and present danger to American democracy and the liberties of the American people. As Robert Barnes of LawNewz further explained, Sally Yates, former CIA director John Brennan and a large slice of the Never Trumper intelligence community were systematically engaged in "opposition research" during the campaign and the transition: According to published reports, someone was eavesdropping, and recording, the conversations of Michael Flynn, while Sally Yates was at the Department of Justice. Sally Yates knew about this eavesdropping, listened in herself (Pellicano-style for those who remember the infamous LA cases), and reported what she heard to others. For Yates to have such access means she herself must have been involved in authorizing its disclosure to political appointees, since she herself is such a political appointee. What justification was there for an Obama appointee to be spying on the conversations of a future Trump appointee? Consider this little tidbit in The Washington Post. The paper, which once broke Watergate, is now propagating the benefits of Watergate-style surveillance in ways that do make Watergate look like a third-rate effort.  (With the) FBI 'routinely' monitoring conversations of Americans...... Yates listened to 'the intercepted call,' even though Yates knew there was 'little chance' of any credible case being made for prosecution under a law 'that has never been used in a prosecution.' And well it hasn't been. After all, the Logan Act was signed by President John Adams in 1799 in order to punish one of Thomas Jefferson's supporters for having peace discussions with the French government in Paris. That is, it amounted to pre-litigating the Presidential campaign of 1800 based on sheer political motivation. According to the Washington Post itself, that is exactly what Yates and the Obama holdovers did day and night during the interregnum: Indeed, the paper details an apparent effort by Yates to misuse her office to launch a full-scale secret investigation of her political opponents, including 'intercepting calls' of her political adversaries. So all of the feigned outrage emanating from Democrats and the Washington establishment about Team Trump's trafficking with the Russians is a cover story. Surely anyone even vaguely familiar with recent history would have known there was absolutely nothing illegal or even untoward about Flynn's post-Christmas conversations with the Russian Ambassador. Indeed, we recall from personal experience the thrilling moment on inauguration day in January 1981 when word came of the release of the American hostages in Tehran. Let us assure you, that did not happen by immaculate diplomatic conception -- nor was it a parting gift to the Gipper by the outgoing Carter Administration. To the contrary, it was the fruit of secret negotiations with the Iranian government during the transition by private American citizens. As the history books would have it because it's true, the leader of that negotiation, in fact, was Ronald Reagan's national security council director-designate, Dick Allen. As the real Washington Post later reported, under the by-line of a real reporter, Bob Woodward: Reagan campaign aides met in a Washington DC hotel in early October, 1980, with a self-described 'Iranian exile' who offered, on behalf of the Iranian government, to release the hostages to Reagan, not Carter, in order to ensure Carter's defeat in the November 4, 1980 election. The American participants were Richard Allen, subsequently Reagan's first national security adviser, Allen aide Laurence Silberman, and Robert McFarlane, another future national security adviser who in 1980 was on the staff of Senator John Tower (R-TX). To this day we have not had occasion to visit our old friend Dick Allen in the US penitentiary because he's not there; the Logan Act was never invoked in what is surely the most blatant case ever of citizen diplomacy. So let's get to the heart of the matter and be done with it. The Obama White House conducted a sour grapes campaign to delegitimize the election beginning November 9th and it was led by then CIA Director John Brennan. That treacherous assault on the core constitutional matter of the election process culminated in the ridiculous Russian meddling report of the Obama White House in December. The latter, of course, was issued by serial liar James Clapper, as national intelligence director, and the clueless Democrat lawyer and bag-man, Jeh Johnson, who had been appointed head of the Homeland Security Department. Yet on the basis of  the report's absolutely zero evidence and endless surmise, innuendo and "assessments", the Obama White House imposed another round of its silly school-boy sanctions on a handful of Putin's cronies. Of course, Flynn should have been telling the Russian Ambassador that this nonsense would be soon reversed! But here is the ultimate folly. The mainstream media talking heads are harrumphing loudly about the fact that the very day following Flynn's call -- Vladimir Putin announced that he would not retaliate against the new Obama sanctions as expected; and shortly thereafter, the Donald tweeted that Putin had shown admirable wisdom. That's right. Two reasonably adult statesman undertook what might be called the Christmas Truce of 2016. But like its namesake of 1914 on the bloody no man's land of the western front, the War Party has determined that the truce-makers shall not survive. The Donald has been warned.

21 февраля, 02:23

Trump's new warrior-scholar

Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster has staked out a decidedly more hawkish position on Russia and gone out of his way to assert that the war against terrorism must not turn into a war against Islam.

20 февраля, 23:45

Трамп назначил советником по национальной безопасности Герберта Макмастера

Президент США Дональд Трамп назначил своим советником по национальной безопасности генерал-лейтенанта Герберта Макмастера. Об этом сообщает пресс-секретарь Белого дома Шон Спайсер